Excedrin Quick Tab Side Effects

Generic Name: acetaminophen / caffeine

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of acetaminophen / caffeine. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Excedrin Quick Tab.

Not all side effects for Excedrin Quick Tab may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to acetaminophen / caffeine: oral tablet, oral tablet disintegrating

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking acetaminophen / caffeine: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal. This could occur even if you have taken acetaminophen in the past and had no reaction. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling. If you have this type of reaction, you should never again take any medicine that contains acetaminophen.

Stop using acetaminophen and caffeine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • low fever with nausea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite;

  • dark urine, clay-colored stools; or

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • feeling nervous, irritable, or jittery.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to acetaminophen / caffeine: oral tablet, oral tablet disintegrating


Acetaminophen: Rare (less than 0.1%): Severe and sometimes fatal dose dependent hepatitis in alcoholic patients, hepatotoxicity increased during fasting, hepatotoxicity from chronic acetaminophen usage

Alcoholic patients may develop hepatotoxicity after even modest doses of acetaminophen. In healthy patients, approximately 15 grams of acetaminophen is necessary to deplete liver glutathione stores by 70% in a 70 kg person. However, hepatotoxicity has been reported following smaller doses. Glutathione concentrations may be repleted by the antidote N-acetylcysteine. One case report has suggested that hypothermia may also be beneficial in decreasing liver damage during overdose.

In a recent retrospective study of 306 patients admitted for acetaminophen overdose, 6.9% had severe liver injury but all recovered. None of the 306 patients died.

A 19 year old female developed hepatotoxicity, reactive plasmacytosis and agranulocytosis followed by a leukemoid reaction after acute acetaminophen toxicity.


Caffeine: Rare (less than 0.1%): Fibrocystic breast disease

In one study of the effects of caffeine, 634 women with fibrocystic breast disease (compared to 1066 women without the disease), the occurrence of fibrocystic breast disease was positively associated with average daily consumption of caffeine. Women who consumed 31 to 250 mg/day of caffeine were reported to have a 1.5 times increase in odds to have the disease. Women who consumed over 500 mg/day of caffeine were reported to have a 2.3 times increase in odds.


One study has suggested that acetaminophen may precipitate acute biliary pain and cholestasis. The mechanism of this effect may be related to inhibition of prostaglandin and alterations in the regulation of the sphincter of Oddi.

Acetaminophen: Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Mostly seen in alcoholics and after overdose: Acute pancreatitis; Caffeine citrate: Very rare (less than 0.01%): Necrotizing enterocolitis in infants


Acetaminophen: Rare (less than 0.1%): Acute tubular necrosis, interstitial nephritis; these effects are most often observed after overdose or after chronic abuse (often with multiple analgesics), or in association with acetaminophen-related hepatotoxicity

Acute tubular necrosis usually occurs in conjunction with liver failure, but has been observed as an isolated finding in rare cases. A possible increase in the risk of renal cell carcinoma has been associated with chronic acetaminophen use as well.

A recent case control study of patients with end-stage renal disease suggested that long term consumption of acetaminophen may significantly increase the risk of end-stage renal disease particularly in patients taking more than two pills per day.


Acetaminophen: Rare (less than 0.1%): Anaphylaxis, fixed drug eruptions


Acetaminophen: Rare (less than 0.1%): Thrombocytopenia, methemoglobinemia resulting in cyanosis in acute overdose


Acetaminophen: Rare (0.01% 0.1%): Erythematous skin rashes, bullous erythema, purpura fulminans; Very rare (less than 0.01%): Potentially fatal skin reactions: Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP)


Acetaminophen: Very rare (less than 0.01%): Eosinophilic pneumonia


Acetaminophen: Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hypotension

Nervous system

Caffeine: Frequency not reported: Caffeinism (Caffeinism is a syndrome characterized by anxiety, restlessness, and sleep disorders similar to anxiety states), aggravation of PMS

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.