How To Stop Taking Excedrin

How To Stop Taking Excedrin

From my personal experience, this is how to stop taking Excedrin.

Medical Disclosure: Please consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before taking any advice discussed within this website and before starting or stopping any diet, exercise, supplementation or medication program.

Before I say anything else, just know that I’m not a doctor. However, I’ve been to many doctors (including a neurologist), which is how I’ve finally managed to get to a point where I’m no longer dependent on Excedrin. This is my personal experience and I’m hoping it can help other people. I know how miserable it is to have a constant headache or migraine, and to feel like you’re always going to be addicted to Excedrin.

Woman With Headache

 

UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 21, 2021

At some point, I’ll update this entire blog. For now, I’ll give you an update because I know this post gets a lot of traffic, so I don’t want you to read a bunch of old advice (see below). I’ll try to keep it short.

In October 2020 (after this post was written), I ended up with bilateral vertebral artery dissection. I still have no idea how that happened, but it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. The pain was mostly in my neck and the base of my skull, but it hurt so bad, that it would cause migraines constantly.

My doctor prescribed everything for the pain and nothing worked. I decided to try Amitriptyline just to see if it would help, and it did. I don’t know if it was coincidental or not, but I ended up taking it for over a year.

I absolutely do not recommend Amitriptyline for any reason ever. I was always tired, even though I was only taking 7.5mg each night. I told my doctor I wanted to quit, and she said that since it was such a low dose, I wouldn’t need to taper off. I believed her and didn’t taper, and it was terrible. I was nauseous for at least a full month and had migraines constantly. You should definitely taper off of Amitriptyline.

Because the headaches came back, I started taking Excedrin again. It didn’t work, and the only thing that would kind of work was Maxalt. They only give you 9 of those per month, though, so it was a disaster. I was constantly taking Excedrin to try and get rid of the constant migraines, and it wasn’t working at all, but probably just adding rebound and overmedication headaches into the mix.

Eventually, I went back to my neurologist and she recommended Ajovy (similar to Aimovig). It’s a monthly injection that you give yourself in either the arm, leg, or stomach. I was hesitant because I hate side effects, and if I did get side effects, I couldn’t just stop taking it like you can with oral medications.

It’s been great, though, and I highly recommend Ajovy. I’ve been taking it for 4-5 months and don’t even remember the last time I had to take Maxalt or Nurtec. I do occasionally take Excedrin, but because I’m so afraid of becoming addicted to it again, I probably only take it around once a week at most.

Also, fun fact that I recently learned: Maxalt, Imitrex, Zomig, and probably all triptans can cause rebound headaches, too. My neurologist says Nurtec does not cause rebound headaches, but you can only take one every 24 hours.

To sum it up, my recommendation to anyone who feels like their headache/migraine experience is at all similar to mine is: Ask your doctor about Ajovy because so far, it is working way better for me than anything else ever has.

Backstory – Feel Free To Scroll Past This

When I was 10 years old, I went to the locker rooms to change after gym class. For some reason, I was the only one down there, which seems weird to me now, but that’s not really important. Anyway, the last thing I remember was tying my shoes. I woke up probably 10 feet from where I was, face down on the floor. My chin was busted open, I bit my tongue, and I had a huge bruise on my hip.

I ended up having to get 7 stitches (plus 2 on the inside) and a CAT scan. They said everything in my brain looked normal, and that maybe I had a heat stroke. I don’t remember being abnormally hot, so I have a hard time believing it was that. Still don’t know what happened, though.

I don’t remember exactly when I started getting constant headaches, but I know by the time I was 14, I had a migraine during a soccer game. It was so bad, that I was seeing spots all over the place, and I couldn’t differentiate the things I was seeing from the actual ball. It’s safe to say that I had migraines from at least then.

At some point, I went to the doctor again, and they told me to take something for my headaches as soon as I felt them coming on, that way it wouldn’t get any worse. So, that’s what I did. That’s what I continued to do for years. Even when I felt the slightest headache, I took Excedrin. Most of the time, it got rid of it right away. Eventually, it got to where I had to take it multiple times a day.

Right now, I’m almost 23 weeks pregnant and I really didn’t want to keep taking medication every single day. A few weeks ago, I finally got in to see a neurologist. That was something that I probably should’ve done about 20 years ago, but here we are. At least I’ve got it under control now.

Excedrin Rebound Headaches

This is a real thing. Excedrin Migraine contains acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine. If you’ve been wondering, “can caffeine cause headaches?” or “can caffeine cause migraines,” the answer is… in a way, yes. Caffeine is a trigger and people become addicted to caffeine. With me, I think what happened, was that my body was so used to always having caffeine in it, that when I went too long without it, I got a rebound headache.

Pretty much every morning, I’d wake up with a headache. It makes sense for those to have been rebound headaches, because I’d just went 7-8 hours without Excedrin.

Can You Take Excedrin Migraine While Pregnant?

No. I did for probably the first 10-12 weeks of this pregnancy, and while I don’t think it did any damage, apparently it can cause miscarriages, so I would advise against it. Since Excedrin Migraine contains aspirin and aspirin is a blood thinner, you shouldn’t take it. I’m considering myself lucky for taking it that long and not suffering any consequences.

You can ask your doctor about this, but that’s what I did. I see like 10 different OB’s, and they very rarely give me the same answer to a question (annoying). This is why I ended up taking Excedrin way longer than I should have while pregnant.

One doctor thought that because it was acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine, it was fine, because they commonly put pregnant women with high blood pressure on aspirin, anyway. However, after taking it those 10-12 weeks, I went back and saw another doctor.

They do prescribe aspirin for that reason, but it’s at a much lower dosage than the amount that’s in Excedrin Migraine. There is way too much aspirin in Excedrin Migraine for pregnant women. The first doctor failed to mention that.

Headaches in pregnancy are common, and if you have migraines already, it can either make them better or worse. For me, it got worse. I was always taking Excedrin, and it wasn’t even working. In the first 18 weeks of my pregnancy, I stayed home from work three times because of migraines. They were so bad that they were causing me to throw up.

I’m sure part of it was because I’m pregnant and my hormones were a mess, but there’s still part of me that thinks my Excedrin withdrawal was worse than ever at this point.

Excedrin Migraine vs Excedrin Tension Headache

As far as I know, unless my doctors were wrong again, Excedrin Tension Headache is okay to take while pregnant. The only difference between Excedrin Migraine and Excedrin Tension Headache, is that Excedrin Tension Headache does not contain aspirin.

So yes, it’s probably “okay” to take it, but I’d try not to, if you can help it. It’s only going to make you experience the wonderful Excedrin side effects known as caffeine withdrawal and rebound headaches. Besides, loading up on acetaminophen and caffeine while pregnant still probably isn’t the best thing, either.

How To Treat Rebound Headaches

Like I said, I finally went to a neurologist. I’d been to “regular” doctors before, and they would prescribe me all different kinds of medication – Topamax, Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Amitriptyline, Fioricet, Propranolol, and some other things that I can’t even remember the name of. They never once said I was having rebound headaches, but the neurologist finally did!

She said I needed to quit taking Excedrin and anything with acetaminophen (Tylenol). She suggested weaning myself off of it, and while you could absolutely create some type of schedule for yourself where you slowly decreased the amount you took per day, I just stopped completely. On Thursday, I went to the neurologist and didn’t take it again after that.

I expected detoxing from Excedrin to be awful, but I expected the worst of it to be between Friday – Sunday. I don’t work weekends, so as long as I could suffer through Friday, I was fully prepared to just lay in bed all weekend. She even prescribed me something to “knock me out” and fall asleep faster, so that I wouldn’t have to be awake and in pain. I forget the name of it, but Unisom would work for this, too.

Because I was terrified of being completely knocked out, I actually only took 1/4th of whatever pill she prescribed for me. I hate being super drowsy, and my headaches never got that bad, so I didn’t take it again. I did take something else, though.

Supplements For Migraines

She suggested that I take 400mg of magnesium and 300mg b2 (riboflavin) daily. This could very well be what made everything less miserable than I expected it to be. I have these chewable magnesium tablets from CVS, which actually are kind of delicious. I ordered a bottle of b2 online because they didn’t sell it at CVS, for some reason. The tablets are 100mg each, so I take 3 of them.

Caffeine Withdrawal Treatment

I don’t really know which ingredient in Excedrin is causing rebound headaches, but if I had to guess, I’d guess that the biggest problem with it is the caffeine. During the first few days of my Excedrin withdrawal, I did start to feel headaches coming on.

Under any other circumstance, I would’ve normally reached for Tylenol, but during this time, I grabbed a can of Pepsi. Not Coke. Don’t ask me why it made a difference, but it did. Pepsi would make the headache go away, but Coke would not.

Obviously, I didn’t want to start drinking Pepsi every day, so this is where I really had to do my “weaning.” Maybe my caffeine addiction wasn’t that terrible, because in the beginning, I could usually get away with only one can a day. Sometimes, it was two cans, but never more than that.

Whenever I drank two, I felt like I “had a problem,” and tried very hard to drink less the next day. Finally, it got to where I just kept a bottle in the refrigerator, and if I felt like I needed it, I’d just chug a few gulps and be done with it.

Now, I don’t need it anymore.

Rebound Headache Recovery Time

I can’t give you a real answer for this. It’s going to be different for everyone, but I feel like if you can go “cold turkey,” it will probably be a lot quicker than if you don’t. In total, if you count the days I weaned myself off caffeine, my recovery time was two weeks.

Conclusion

This has been a very long post, so if you’re looking for a summary, here is what I recommend:

  • Visit a neurologist to make sure you do, in fact, have rebound headaches.
  • Take 400 mg of magnesium and 300 mg of b2
  • Take a multivitamin, but one that doesn’t contain magnesium, because you’re going to get enough from the magnesium supplement.
  • Drink enough water, eat enough, and frequently. Don’t add hunger headaches to your problem.
  • Stop taking Excedrin Migraine and/or Excedrin Tension Headache immediately.
  • Stop taking Tylenol immediately.
  • Really, if you can help it, don’t take any kind of pain reliever.
  • Keep Pepsi on hand and drink that when you start to feel like you need to take a pain reliever.
  • Eventually, wean yourself off caffeine.
  • If for some reason nothing is working, wait until you get home and take Unisom (or some kind of sleep aid). Go to bed and sleep through it.
  • Give it at least two weeks.

There! I hope that helps someone. If you have any questions, I’ll try to answer them, but again, I’m no doctor or medical expert of any kind. If there’s been anything in particular that has helped you with headaches, rebound headaches, or migraines, leave it in the comments below!

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Lynneah Bennett
    July 20, 2018 at 11:38 am

    I used to only take excedrin for headaches, like you said, because it has caffiene! I ended up taking too much and it led to stomach ulcers. Ever since that happened, I haven’t taken the medication. Good informative post!

  • Reply
    Sami Summers
    July 22, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Oh, my goodness. I am a fan of Excedrin, but I’ve not taken it for years. My biggest problem for this pregnancy has been with ibuprofen, which my doctor told me I couldn’t take after 24 weeks. I can’t imagine your struggle, but hopefully you’re finding some type of relief. May you continue to have a happy and healthy pregnancy!

  • Reply
    Dana
    July 23, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    I was so reliant on excedrin for so long! It gave me terrible stomach aches though so I had to find another solution. Usually a shower and some time in a dark room, as well as massaging my temples helped a bit, with a little coffee. I had no idea about the rebound headaches!

  • Reply
    KrisBeeMama
    July 25, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    I took excedrine migraine for a week while pregnant after consulting with my OBGYN. I was told you never take it after 20 weeks though consult your dr first!!

  • Reply
    Wendy Lemeric
    July 25, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    I’ve only taken Advil for that one year when I experienced migraines. But after deciding I don’t want to take anymore (i’m not reallty a fan of taking medicines) I visited a neurologist and he prescribed me with something stronger intended for migraines. I forgot what the name was that was like 6 years ago. I haven’t had migraines since.

    • Reply
      rachelcorinne
      January 4, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      Was it Topamax? I was prescribed that for a while.

      • Reply
        lisa
        February 17, 2020 at 12:05 pm

        Topamax is an anticonvulsant (to help with epilepsy) that is also used to help with migraines and a few other health issues.

        • Reply
          rachelcorinne
          February 17, 2020 at 3:20 pm

          I took that for a while, but had HORRIBLE side effects. Have you taken it?

  • Reply
    Brandi
    August 9, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Hey
    Just wondering how long it was before you could tell the supplements were working?

    • Reply
      rachelcorinne
      August 9, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      I would give it at least three weeks. They could very well be three miserable weeks, but it could take at least that long!

  • Reply
    Jeremy Frietsch
    January 7, 2020 at 6:31 am

    I’ve taken Excedrin migraine since 2006 and yes I have had problems with it. When it works it’s great but when it backfires it’s awful. I stopped taking it in 2015 and was out sick from work for three days and spent one night constantly vomiting. I was off of for it for around four years then I went through a divorce and job change and found me taking it again. Now I’m stopping it for good. The withdrawal is bad horrible pain tried a can of coke and I think that made it worse. You are right sleeping seems to be the only thing to help and once your body rids of it you see an immediate difference and you feel a lot better. Once I am fully off of it I’ll need to find a substitute for when I do have a migraine not sure what that will be. But it was the only thing that worked for me but clearly my body is finally had it’s share of it.

    • Reply
      rachelcorinne
      January 9, 2020 at 8:09 am

      Have you ever went to see a neurologist? Or even your primary care doctor can prescribe things. I’ve been prescribed triptans for migraines. Maxalt works the best for me, but Imitrex will also work a lot of the time. As far as “preventative” migraine meds, I started taking Amitriptyline before bed every night a few weeks ago. I haven’t had a migraine since then. Also, if you have any feeling at all that something may be wrong inside your brain, I would ask for a CT scan! I had to go to the ER a few months ago, and they found out that I have bilateral artery dissection. I kind of suspect that I’ve had this for a long time, and it has contributed to my migraines.

  • Reply
    Steph
    January 24, 2020 at 6:22 am

    Did you have any other side effects when you quit taking excedrin? I was taking multiple goody’s headache powders a day and I stopped and I’ve been taking B2, but I have been breaking out horribly. I don’t know if it’s related to either stopping taking the powders or the supplement. Did you experience anything like that?

    • Reply
      rachelcorinne
      February 6, 2020 at 9:05 pm

      Nope, I didn’t have anything like that. I’m a little late replying to this. Have those side effects gone away?

  • Reply
    Somer
    February 7, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    I am totally dependent on BC powder daily, sometimes twice a day and if I don’t take that I take Excedrin migraine. I can’t imagine weening myself off. I would just need to sleep all day and that gives me headaches. I wake in the morning with a headache and even after taking something it’s still a full one all day. Idk what to do. I have expressed this to my GP but he does nothing about it.

    • Reply
      rachelcorinne
      February 13, 2020 at 11:02 am

      Since he isn’t doing anything, maybe you could ask him to refer you to a neurologist. A neurologist should be able to prescribe something for you. You may have to try a few different things, but hopefully you’ll find something that works for you eventually! I’m finding that taking Amitriptyline daily and Maxalt as needed is working way better than anything else ever has.

    • Reply
      Laurel
      November 18, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      You might have food allergies. Go have the blood tests. I had headaches every day…not severe but took Ex for it. Then found I was allergic to tomatoes.! Gluten, yeast.

    • Reply
      Quantz
      December 6, 2020 at 5:41 pm

      Somer, please find a doctor who will help. I’ve been working with my GP for several years trying to find an answer to the crippling migraines I have at least half the time. As of last week, we are trying Aimovig (monthly) with Nurtec for when I need immediate relief. I was on Excedrin for years prior to last week as it was the only medication that would work and I have tried most of the ones mentioned in this post and the comments. I have decided to power through with this new therapy and break the Excedrin cycle once and for all. Good luck to you and thanks to Rachel for the insightful post.

  • Reply
    lisa
    February 17, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    I used to take around 1000 mg of magnesium a day when my migraines were really bad. As long as you’re healthy, your body dispels the excess. Just a heads up, there are different kinds of magnesium and oxalate magnesium goes through faster than the others. Look for other kinds at health food stores. First time users will also want to have easy access to a bathroom the first couple days taking it.

    • Reply
      rachelcorinne
      February 17, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks for the info! I’m going to try to start taking more and see if I notice a difference.

  • Reply
    Anna Maria Corino
    April 10, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Thanks Rachel! This was very informative! I’ve suffered from migraines my whole life and when I was in my 20’s, they would make my blood pressure go up. At that point, they added blood pressure meds. The only time I have not taken excedrin was when I was pregnant. I would take tylenol and just suffer through, but I felt my best when I was pregnant. I have been on Topomax but came off when my nutritionist put me on magnesium. It’s funny because I just seem to forget the basics… thanks for the reminder! Unfortunately, I went back to taking excedrin. I’m on day two of not taking it and really have to make a serious effort this time. I’ve had stomach issues too. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Inga Armenta
    April 22, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    I’ve had migraines and was prescribed topamax. When the headaches subsided my neurologist decreased the medication and they came back with a vengeance. That’s why I took extra strength Excedrin, which helped get rid of them. I took it daily. He told me I was having rebound headaches and to stop taking it. But the other meds he prescribed for me just wasn’t cutting it. Now that Excedrin is off the shelf I rely on generic brand headache pain relievers which take 3 times as long to alleviate my headache which occurs every day.

  • Reply
    Brian
    May 3, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks for this article. Very helpful. I’m on day 2 of no painkillers whatsoever and so far so good. I’m taking the magnesium, B2 and Pepsi. So far the headaches have been mild and bearable. Did you notice extreme tiredness when stopping the Excedrin? I am and I don’t even feel like getting out of bed. Sleeping a lot which I guess is a good thing. I’m assuming it’s from the lack of caffeine. I was taking up to 6-8 pills everyday so that’s a lot of caffeine.

    • Reply
      Rupali Embry
      August 13, 2020 at 10:14 pm

      I’ve tried to stop taking Excedrin before and it’s the tiredness that was the worst. I’m pretty sure it’s the lack of caffeine causing it. I don’t know if that goes away at some point since I succumbed to taking it again. 🤷🏼‍♀️ I want to try stopping again though so I hope it works! Did it go away for you?

  • Reply
    Brian
    August 16, 2020 at 9:33 am

    No, I went back on it after a couple of attempts due to bad pain. It’s tough! Trying again.

  • Reply
    Vicki Skonieczny
    April 30, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Rachel, I was just wondering what time of day you take the magnesium and b2? Thanks.

    • Reply
      rachelcorinne
      May 27, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Vicki! For the longest time, I took it in the morning, but I’ve recently started taking it right before bed. I switched because I wanted to see if I would be tired or less tired throughout the day depending on when I took it, but I haven’t really noticed a difference either way.

  • Reply
    Nancy
    May 18, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    Your article helped me immensely. I found that I too was having rebound headaches from taking too many excedrin for migraine pills. I also experienced stomach pain and internal bleeding from overdosing on excedrin for migraine pills. I stopped taking them and experienced the worst headache ever, proving to me that I was addicted to the caffeine in the pills that I took to “help” get rid of my migraines. I will never take another Excedrin for migraine pill and I feel better, with no pain or internal bleeding. By the way, my doctor’s answer for my internal bleeding was an endoscopy and a colonoscopy, which I declined, once my iron level came up after discontinuing these pills. No more bleeding. Hmm, who needs all of the tests doctors throw at you:?! You helped me to see that I likely was addicted to the caffeine in Excedrin for migraine. I have very few headaches now. Thank you!

    • Reply
      rachelcorinne
      May 27, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Very glad to hear that, Nancy! I haven’t experienced stomach pain or internal bleeding, thankfully, but I have started taking Excedrin again more often than I would like. I started Ajovy last month, though, so I’m hoping that will help!

  • Reply
    Lacry
    May 18, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    I have migraines about 10 times a month. I’ve just started taking the Ajovy injection and I’m hoping it helps. More concerning is that I have been taking Excedrin 2-4 daily for the last 20 years. I’m so worried I have ruined my stomach and liver at this point. I may just be being extreme with my thinking but it does worry me. I’m to the point that I wake up every morning and take 2 Excedrin, even when I don’t have a headache just to prevent getting one. I have also found that I am extremely tired of I do not take any. Does anyone else share any of my concerns? How long have you been taking it? Do you have any stomach or liver issues? Thanks!

    • Reply
      rachelcorinne
      May 27, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      We sound exactly the same! Even to the point of just starting Ajovy. Haha. I’m getting my second injection in 2 hours. How has it been working for you? I haven’t had a full blown migraine since my first injection, but I still have constant, regular headaches. I don’t have any stomach or liver issues that I’m aware of, but I do worry about it, too.

      • Reply
        Shirelle Zehnder
        May 29, 2021 at 6:48 pm

        Is the amitryptyline not helping anymore? I’m sooooo scared to get off excederin. I just had occipital nerve decompression surgery for my constant 6 year headache 12 weeks ago and I’m desperate to avoid getting surgery on the front and sides. I have had one injection of emgality and am going to ask to start nortryptyline soon and am reading through the heal your headache diet book. I’ve got to try everything thoroughly before I am willing to consider surgery again

        • Reply
          rachelcorinne
          August 21, 2021 at 11:33 am

          Hi Shirelle! Amitriptyline didn’t help much and it made me sooo tired. I stopped it completely a few months ago, and it was terrible because it causes withdrawals, which no one warned me about it. I did start Ajovy, though, and it seems to be working better than anything I’ve ever tried!

    • Reply
      Lisa
      June 29, 2021 at 11:38 am

      Yes! LACRY! I’ve been reading all these posts up until now, and I cannot “not” respond any longer..lol! I wanted to get through them all before I wrote anything, but I have to speak up , because everything I’m reading is or has happened to me! FINALLY, people who understand! Thanks Rachael for the post!
      I’m almost 50, and I started having headaches in highschool (probably due to stress..studying, family life, etc) My mom would always just say “take some Tylenol”, so I did, over and over until it stopped working. Then I switched somewhere along the line to Extra Strength Excedrin. (Started taking generic brand, same ingredients) it worked like a charm, so I took it all the time, even if the headache was “slight” to prevent a full-blown migraine (just as I do now). Fastforward 30 years later and my body is addicted to Excedrin. I hate it. I carry a huge bottle in my purse and it’s kinda a joke now with family and friends, “oh, u have a headache?, Lisa has Excedrin” I’ve taken it for at least 25 years, and I’ve tried everything! I successfully went off of it for one full year (actually, it was ONE DAY SHY of a full year..I was marking my calendar, because I was so proud of myself) and then it came, menstruation, along with a HUGE pounding headache, so I succumbed to the Excedrin, and I’ve been on it ever since. So I’ve only went one year without it, but I know it can be done, and I did it cold-turkey. I knew it was going to be hard, so I mentally had to prepare myself, but after about a week of my bed, ice packs and just suffering (because I had to work), I got through it. The headaches still came, but I would just power through them, and they would go away. That weren’t as bad as the rebound headaches, so I was able to do that. At that time, I was also exercising, drinking water, taking vitamins and magnesium every day religiously, so this I know, helped. I also prayed a lot! Now, I just want to be DONE with these stupid pills! I know they are causing rebound headaches, even though all the doctors I’ve been to, never mentioned rebound headaches except one! And Ive been to a lot. I told the last 2 neurologists that I went to my history of taking Excedrin, and that I wake with headaches EVERY morning, that I start my dsy with 3 pills and after 4 hours, I take 3 more and so on. I’ve had CT scans. They never mentioned “rebound” headaches to me, until I brought up the idea,(from researching tbe internet, like these posts), then they were like, “yeh, that’s possible, why don’t u try going off of it?” But tbeir first line of defense is always Topamax, Propranolol or Imitrex, etc. Which may be ok, but what about at the onset? So I asked my neurologist about that, she prescribed Maltax, but I havent tried it yet, because they will only give you a few pills, and I have headaches every day, all day, so I’m saving them for when I go cold turkey again. Which brings me to the end, thanks for hanging in there with me, I, too, have stomach issues. It gets to a point where I take so much, I guess my stomach goes through a cycle of either stomach lining irritation or ulcers, because I will be double over in pain sometimes OR I will have a gnawing hunger pain, (like my stomach is eating itself!), but I just ate!, so it’s not hunger! I was checked for gallstones, it got so bad, but nothing. The pain also radiates to my back and feels like a dull pressure mid back. This comes and goes every few weeks. I’m just so tired of feeling unhealthy because of these pills. And yes, they make me feel tired all the time. One morning, it was a miracle..I woke without a headache, it was an amazing feeling! But I was so tired, that I reached for my excedrin bottle to wake myself up (and out of habit) I ended up getting a headache an hour later, so I took it anyway. I’m going to try cold turkey again. I’m at my breaking point. It gets to a point where the Excedrin doesn’t even help any longer, but I still take them hoping it will. So, if I’m STILL going to have the headache WITH the excedrin, I might as well try the cold turkey again at this point.
      Bottom line: I’m starting tomorrow, because I’ve already popped 3 this morning, before I saw this post. (But you guys have motivated me once again to try to regain my health!) I think together we can do this. Even if we ” fall off the wagon”. We have to keep trying. Taking 6-9 pills a day for 30 years cannot be good for me. (Even though a doctor said my liver was good, and I was healthy).
      **I’m going to go back on my magnesium at night (I use powdered Magnesium called CALM, add B2, and Pepsi, or maybe hot tea, drink lots of water, exercise and remember to eat small meals throughout day, because hunger will bring headaches on for me. Also, my triggers, are too much bread, like pizza, too much sodium, like fast food, or chips, milk chocolate and wine or alcohol. I really have to be careful not to eat too much of anything or I will get a headache.
      I hope this helps even ONE person. You guys have helped me. Thank you, and Thanks Rachel!😊

      • Reply
        rachelcorinne
        August 21, 2021 at 11:21 am

        Hi Lisa!!! Sorry I’m so late replying. I hope you see it! I’ll email you this, too, just in case.

        If you were able to quit the Excedrin, that’s great! If not, I highly recommend Ajovy. It’s a monthly injection that I started maybe 3-4 months ago? It’s supposed to be similar to Aimovig, but I think it’s supposed to have less side effects. I’ve really not had any side effects that are that bad at all, and I’m not having headaches or migraines, either. I actually don’t take ANYTHING. I very rarely need Excedrin, and I never need Maxalt, Imitrex, Zomig, or Nurtec. I also don’t even bother with b12, b2, or any of the other supplements, because it seems like the Aimovig has almost completely cured me.

  • Reply
    Nancyf
    May 30, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    This has been helpful for me to read. I just tried to wean myself off excedrine and I only made it 3 days. The headache was constant and felt like the top of may head would blow off. I finally broke down and took one excedrine.

    Is there a support group for people who have successfully beaten the excedrine addiction?

    I hope to try using the magnesium and B2

    Thanks for finally being the first place I found with real life experience

    • Reply
      rachelcorinne
      August 21, 2021 at 11:31 am

      Hi Nancy! Have you tried any of the monthly injections yet? I started Ajovy a few months ago, and it seems to be working!

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    MaryV
    August 31, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    This has been so helpful. Thank you for your article and this support! I came to the realization that maybe the reason I wake up every single day with a migraine is because of the medication I use to stop them–Excedrin Migraine. I have tried EVERYTHING over the last 20 years. For me, Aimovig works for just a little while so my neurologist increased to 2 instead of once per month. Worked great for just a little while again. Maybe a month at most. Tried Topamax, Elavil, Maxalt, Imitrex, Rizatriptan, you name it. One common thread through all of this was that I was always taking Excedrin about every day in addition to all these other things. Last week I said I’m done. I went cold turkey and got so sick I was vomiting, missed work, etc. Awful. SO next day I cut my one Excedrin down to 3/4 of one tablet. Did that all weekend. Today I am taking 1/2. I am hoping to be all done with this in a couple weeks and fingers crossed this will make an impact on my life. I’m not sure what I will do when a migraine comes on, but one thing I know….it won’t be Excedrin. I’ve led a pretty squeaky clean lifestyle and the realization that I may actually be addicted to something has actually made me mad. But on a good note it has given me the courage to do something about it. Or at least try. Thank you again for this. Nice to know I am not alone 🙂

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