Update on the Excedrin recall and what to take to get rid of those migraine headaches

Local Pharm D offers alternative to Excedrin

TAMPA - Relief is on the way for migraine sufferers. The company that voluntarily recalled Excedrin says they hope to have it back on the shelves later this year.

"Not soon enough," says one local mother who claims the pain reliever is the only thing that helps her debilitating headaches.

Here's an update on the recall situation and how it's affecting a working mom.

Tracy Barcelo is your typical busy working mom, picking up kids, running errands, etc. She's almost never at home.

The last thing she needs is a headache.

She carried Excedrin Migraine in her purse because, "I'd experience, about three to four times a month, really bad migraine headaches that even the light would even hurt me. I'd have to put a pillow over my head. And stay in bed all day unless I had the Excedrin Migraine."

She found out they had been pulled from the shelves when, "I couldn't buy them anymore."

A spokesperson from Novartis, who makes Excedrin, says they voluntarily recalled all lots of select bottle sizes of Excedrin with expiration dates of December 20, 2014 or earlier in the United States, because the products may contain stray tablets or contain broken or chipped tablets.

Tracy turned to her doctor for an alternative. "I had tried the CVS brand generic, the Walgreens brand generic, BC powder... nothing took them away. He prescribed another medication for me for cluster headaches and it put me in a depression so bad I had to take myself off it."

Pharm D's Michelle Alfonso says there are other alternatives to the pain reliever. "If the generic equivalent is not something that a patient would be looking for, then the other alternative is to take individual components of the three ingredients that are in the Excedrin Migraine, which is about 250 milligrams of aspirin,  250 milligrams of acetaminophen or Tylenol brand,  as well as about 65 milligrams of caffeine."

You can still get Excedrin online, but you may pay anywhere from $50 to $250 for it, which Tracy finds outrageous.

Luckily, her doctor gave her some samples of Excedrin Migraine single doses. "I do have to hide them at work because everybody wants them. It's a wanted commodity."

So when will this hot product be back on the shelves?

Novartis spokesperson Julie Masow says, "We are working hard to return products to store shelves as soon as possible. In Lincoln, we have resumed production of the OTC product Excedrin. Upon successful validation, we expect to begin shipping a limited portfolio of products from Lincoln in the fourth quarter."

That could be as early as October.

Julie also went on to say the company has engaged third-party manufactures to bolster the supply of select products to help meet the demands of customers.

Consumers who have the products being recalled should contact the Novartis consumer relationship center at 1-888-477-2403 or email otc.recall@novartis.com for information on how to return the affected products and receive a refund. Information on the affected bottle sizes and related expiry dates is also available at www.novartisotc.com ."

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