3 Reasons Excedrin Recall is Giving Me a Headache

I usually avoid medications unless they are absolutely necessary, but two of my staples are cetirizine and various Excedrin products. I take cetirizine daily to help relieve the seasonal allergies that plague this Texan year round. I keep Excedrin in reserve because its blend of aspirin, caffeine and acetaminophen effectively knock out any related headaches and enable me to function well above my allergy-hazed zombie capacity. Unfortunately, this morning greeted me with news of an Excedrin recall released Sun. afternoon.

1. Frustrating Recall Details
I scoured Excedrin.com for additional details. Clicking on the “Voluntary Recall Information” tab took me to an information page for NoDoz alertness aid. Empowered with the warning that NoDoz is “not a substitute for sleep,” I scrolled down the page and clicked on another banner promising the voluntary recall information.

The link finally led to the details, “Novartis Consumer Health (NCH) is voluntarily recalling all lots of select bottle sizes of Excedrin and NoDoz products with expiry dates of December 20, 2014 or earlier as well as Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention products with expiry dates of December 20, 2013 or earlier, in the United States.

NCH is taking this action as a precautionary measure, because the products may contain stray tablets, capsules, or caplets from other Novartis products, or contain broken or chipped tablets.”

The details for Excedrin makes no exclusion for “select bottle sizes,” but I wanted to double check. I phoned the customer service hotline just before 7 a.m., hoping to hear a recorded message with additional information. Instead, the recorded voice thanked me for calling the Novartis Consumer Relationship Center, gave me the hours of operation and advised me to call 911 or my physician if there was a medical emergency.

2. Missing Recall Instructions
The recall notice instructs those who purchased “these recalled products to discontinue use and return them to Novartis Consumer Health for a full refund,” but does not provide additional details.

Novartis-otc.com has a product return form that makes it seems as though NCH expects customers to mail in the recalled medications. The prompts on the form also make it necessary to print and complete separate forms for each product. Hopefully, this information will evolve to include an easier option for faithful Excedrin users who have multiple bottles.

3. Excedrin Sales, Stocking Up and Sharing
Recent months brought amazing sales on Excedrin. On Thanksgiving weekend, CVS offered a small 8-count pack for free after instant rebate. There were many packages boasting a bonus bottle or additional pills. Various retailers had good sale prices on Excedrin sweetened by generous coupons in the Sunday newspaper.

Of course, I stocked up, buying four of the larger bottles and two of the smaller twin packs. I shared details of the sales with others and even gave Excedrin in a couple of post-holiday care packages. I sent a dawn’s early light series of text messages to those who have Excedrin because of me. I am not a texting fan and composing a detailed message makes my petite fingers feel like sausage digits.

Too bad I can’t take an Excedrin right now.

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