Excedrin likely returning to store shelves by October 1, 2012 after recall

Your wait is almost over

CLEVELAND - Thousands of people are getting a headache these days trying to find Excedrin, one of the most popular pain relievers for migraines.

They want to know why it's gone from stores, and more importantly when it's coming back.

The good news: production has finally resumed, and Excedrin should show up on store shelves in late September.

Removed in January 2012 recall

Excedrin disappeared in mid-January after its maker, Novartis, issued a massive recall of Excedrin, No-Doz, Bufferin, and other products. Some batches contained the wrong pills.

Can't find No-Doz? No problem, just drink more coffee. But migraine sufferers are posting on blogs that they are unable to relieve their massive headaches that are too strong for Tylenol or Motrin.

Novartis is working on getting its products back into stores, and it hopes to have shelves restocked by Oct. 1. (see statement below.) But like the recent Tylenol recall, it could be months before every retailer has full stocks again.

Good alternatives

Bidders are running up the price of Excedrin bottles to $50 or more on eBay right now, that's how desperate they are for relief.

But there's no need to pay that much. Walgreens, CVS, and grocery stores like Target sell generic versions of Excedrin. It can be hard to find because it doesn't say Excedrin on the package. Instead, look for a store brand saying "migraine relief," or something similar.  At Kroger, it's called "Migraine Formula."

The key is that the product needs to contain the three main ingredients of Excedrin: Acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine.  Some may not have the exact same combination, but it beats paying $50 on eBay, or living with a migraine.

As always, don't waste your money.

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Full Novartis Statement:

"Novartis Consumer Health is working hard to resume production at our Lincoln facility and return products to store shelves as soon as possible. We estimate that we will begin to resume OTC shipments from our Lincoln facility by mid-year. Novartis Consumer Health appreciates the patience of our dedicated consumers throughout this process, and apologizes for any inconvenience this voluntary recall may have caused.

Consumers can contact the Novartis Consumer Relationship Center at 1-888-477-2403 (available Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 midnight Eastern Time) or email otc.recall@novartis.com with questions."

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