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A bottle of Excedrin with some of the tablets.
Excedrin is an over-the-counter headache pain reliever,
typically in the form of tablets
or caplets. It contains acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine. Until late 2005 it
was manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb, but in July
2005 it was purchased by (and is now produced by) Novartis, along with other
products from BMS's over-the-counter business. It is one of the top
ten selling over-the-counter medicine brands in the United States.
The brand became known for advertisements in which Excedrin
cured especially unpleasant and excruciating headaches (which were
termed in the advertisements as "Excedrin headaches," later called
"Excedrin tension headaches"). The advertisements, which first
started in the 1960s,
In 2007, the brand branched out into marketing for other types
of pains with the introduction of Excedrin Back & Body, which
removed the caffeine from the normal mixture.
Over the years, different types of the drug were introduced:
- 1960 Excedrin Extra Strength (the formula
changed for the last time in 1978)1 In 1960, Bristol-Myers
Squibb introduced Excedrin(R) Extra Strength for headaches, the
first multi-ingredient formulation headache treatment product . Contains
250 mg acetaminophen, 250 mg aspirin and 65 mg caffeine
- 1969 Excedrin PM The first headache and
sleeping pill combined product.  Contains
500 mg acetaminophen and 38 mg diphenhydramine
citrate as a sleep aid, the same active ingredients as Tylenol PM,
which was introduced several years later.
- 1998 Excedrin Migraine1 At the
beginning of 1998, the FDA granted clearance to market Excedrin
Migraine for the relief of migraine headache pain and associated
symptoms. Excedrin Migraine continued the trend of marketing pain
products for specific types of pain, becoming the first migraine
headache medication available to consumers without a prescription
, even though it
has identical ingredients to the regular Excedrin Extra Strength
product, 250 mg acetaminophen, 250 mg aspirin and 65 mg caffeine.
- 2003 Excedrin Tension Headache Contains
500 mg acetaminophen and 65 mg caffeine.
- 2005 Excedrin Sinus Headache Contains
325 mg acetaminophen and 5 mg phenylephrine HCl
as a decongestant.
- 2007 Excedrin Back and Body A dual-ingredient
formula claiming that it "works two ways—as a pain reliever and a
pain blocker right where it hurts". Contains equal amounts (by
weight) of acetaminophen (250 mg) and aspirin (250 mg). [[
As with all medications containing acetaminophen, the
use of alcohol with Excedrin carries a significant risk of hepatotoxicity.
Additionally, aspirin usage is associated with increased risk of
Main article: Stella
In 2005, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced the sale of its North
American consumer medicine business (including Excedrin, Comtrex
and Keri brands) to Novartis for $660 million, in
order to focus on drugs for ten most profitable disease areas.
- ^ "Novartis
swallows Excedrin". Daily Mail, April 15, 2005 
- ^ "Relief for
Tension Headache Pain - Bristol-Myers Squibb Launches Excedrin(R)
Tension Headache". BMS News Release, June 2003 
- ^ "Excedrin.com
> Product Guide" Nov. 12, 2006
- ^ "Bristol-Myers
Squibb Announces Injectable Acetaminophen Licencing Agreement; -
Agreement Expands Existing Pain Management Portfolio". BMS News
Release, January 28, 2002 
- ^ "Tylenol
Terrorist". Crime Library.