How much caffeine is in Excedrin Migraine?
Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 25, 2020.
Each tablet of Excedrin Migraine contains 65 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, 250 mg of acetaminophen, and 250 mg of aspirin. A regular adult dose (2 tablets) contains 130 mg of caffeine, roughly equal to an 8-12 ounce cup of coffee.
How to take Excedrin Migraine
- The regular dosage for adults is 2 tablets with a glass of water.
- Do not take more than two tablets in any 24-hour period, unless directed by a doctor.
- If symptoms worsen or persist, contact your doctor. If you are under 18 years of age, ask a doctor before use.
Excedrin Migraine is an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine approved by the FDA for the relief of migraine pain. In clinical studies, patients with moderate to severe migraines experienced relief with one dose. It can work as quickly as 30 minutes in some people.
The recommended dose of Excedrin Migraine (2 tablets) contains 130 mg of caffeine, which is roughly as much caffeine as found in an 8 ounce cup of coffee. Limit your use of caffeine-containing medications, foods, or beverages while using Excedrin Migraine. Excessive caffeine can cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and rapid heart beat.
Caffeine has been shown to increase the effects of pain relievers like aspirin and acetaminophen and help to make these medicines more effective in migraine. For some patients, caffeine can trigger a migraine headache, but it has also been shown to be helpful when combined with acetaminophen and aspirin.
How well does Excedrin Migraine work?
In three double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled studies with 1220 participants, researchers assessed the effectiveness of the OTC combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine in alleviating moderate-to-severe migraine headache pain.
Participants took 2 tablets of the OTC acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine or a placebo as a one-time dose for treatment of one migraine attack.
Results showed a significantly greater reduction in migraine pain intensity 1 to 6 hours after the OTC acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine dose than placebo in all three studies.
- Pain was reduced to mild or none 2 hours after the dose in over 59% of those taking acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine compared to about 33% of placebo-treated patients.
- At 6 hours after the dose, 79% receiving acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine had pain reduced to mild or none vs. 52% in the placebo group, and 51% of the drug-treated patients were pain free (with 24% pain-free in the placebo group).
- Symptoms of nausea, photophobia (light sensitivity with pain), phonophobia (sound sensitivity with pain) and functional disability were improved 2 to 6 hours after treatment.
Excedrin Migraine is associated with warnings and side effects, some of which may be severe.
- Reye’s Syndrome
- risk of allergy
- liver toxicity
- stomach bleeding
- headache rebound due to medication overuse
- caffeine overuse
Review side effects and warnings here (in more detail)
- Each tablet of Excedrin Migraine contains 65 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, 250 mg of acetaminophen, and 250 mg of aspirin.
- The dosage for adults is 2 tablets with a glass of water. Do not take more than two tablets or geltabs in any 24-hour period, unless directed by a doctor.
- People under 18 years of age should ask a doctor before use.
This is not all the information you need to know about Excedrin Migraine for safe and effective use. Review the full Excedrin Migraine information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.
- Lipton RB, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Caffeine in Alleviating Migraine Headache Pain Three Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trials. Arch Neurol. 1998; 55:210-217. doi:10.1001/archneur.55.2.210
- Excedrin Migraine 9label information). DailyMed. US National Library of Medicine. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=7ed841fb-a61c-4868-b4e5-4f2311a5e79c&audience=consumer
- Excedrin Migraine Medication. Excedrin.com. https://www.excedrin.com/products/migraine/
- Excedrine migraine (monograph). Drugs.com. https://www.drugs.com/excedrin-migraine.html
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