I’ve been using Excedrin (a generic equivalent) to hit a migraine before it gets too bad. I don’t get auras (if I’ve had one, I don’t recognize it) so I usually take it after the pain starts. It seems to help but I sometimes get rebound headaches after.

For those of you who choose to use Excedrin, here is a little fact you may not have been aware of. Excedrin Migraine is the SAME as Excedrin Extra Strength. Have you been wasting your money on the Migraine flavour of this over the counter drug? Well, now you know. Each of the two contains:

Excedrin Migraine
Active ingredients (in each caplet)
Acetaminophen 250 mg Pain reliever
Aspirin 250 mg Pain reliever
Caffeine 65 mg Pain reliever aid

I think they brand each differently to attract a different set of users who normally would think normal Excedrin does nothing. I’ve talked with my neurologist at length about this and his opinion is that the caffeine is honestly the most effective component.

Caffeine has a paradox effect, at least on me. If I ingest it, I can get rid of a migraine. If I take too much and stop, I get a headache that won’t go away. This is very common since what you’re really doing is altering the blood pressure when your blood vessels constrict. I know plenty of migraineurs that insist having a cigarette stops the pain. Smoking also causes migraines too for a number of people.

I guess the phrase of the day is “You’re screwed if you do, screwed if you don’t”. Find your own triggers and solutions. Don’t believe that because one person says it doesn’t work, that it’s not going to work for you. Keep a food and drug diary. Some day you’ll maybe find a clue how to help you out.

Categories: Headaches


I'm a 20-something full time geek, part time student and photographer with a life partner, dog, house, and the two cars. I also have an ice pick in my left temple every day.

1 Comment

ErinM · February 2, 2006 at 7:11 PM

THANK YOU!!! For finally pointing out that excedrin extra strength and excedrin mig. are the same. I’ve been meaning to do that on my blog for quite some time. Thanks for doing it for me!! 🙂

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