Local pharmacies run out of Excedrin as NewsChannel 9 is first to report a pause on production nationwide

Health

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline confirmed first to NewsChannel 9 that it has paused production of popular Excedrin products, which many people use for migraine relief.

NewsChannel 9’s Andrew Donovan confirmed the company has temporarily stopped nationwide production and distribution of “Excedrin Extra Strength” and “Excedrin Migraine,” after what a spokesperson describes as, “inconsistencies in how we transfer and weigh ingredients,” was discovered.

The stopped production is leading to a shortage in Central New York, as shelves reserved for Excedrin are empty at big stores like Wegmans, Tops, Walmart and Walgreens, and locally owned pharmacies like the Westside Family Pharmacy in Syracuse.

NewsChannel 9 was at the Wegmans on Route 31 in Clay when Ashleigh Eldred, who suffers from migraines, saw the empty shelves for herself.

A sign is taped over the empty space that reads, “temporarily out of this item.”

Eldred tells NewsChannel 9’s Andrew Donovan, “If I was to buy a different brand, it doesn’t even touch it. I haven’t seen it empty like this. It’s kind of scary.”

“I’ve been suffering for about 10 years. I’ve gone to the doctors. I’ve tried prescription medicines. I had Botox. I’ve tried medical marijuana and I still end up going back to Excedrin,” says Eldred.

She also came up empty in her search at a second Wegmans location and Tops. Her mom, who is visiting Las Vegas, came up short after looking at Walmart.

Eldred has some of the medicine left, but worries what will happen when she runs out. She says “If I have a migraine attack, I’m not sure if I was to not have any on me, what I would do.”

GlaxoSmithKline reminds customers its other products are likely still available, like “Tension Headache” and “PM Headache,” along with other brands and generic forms of pain-relieving drugs.

The company and independent pharmacists advise customers to consult their pharmacists for the best alternative.

Complete statement from GlaxoSmithKline:

Patient safety and product quality are our utmost priorities at GSK. Through routine quality control and assurance measures, we discovered inconsistencies in how we transfer and weigh ingredients for Excedrin Extra Strength Caplets and Geltabs and Excedrin Migraine Caplets and Geltabs. Based on the available data, GSK believes that the product, does not pose a safety risk to consumers. However, as a precautionary measure, GSK Consumer Healthcare has voluntarily implemented a discontinuation of production and distribution.  We are working hard to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, but at this point in time cannot confirm a definite date as to when supply will resume. Other Excedrin products are available along with other pain-relieving drugs, but dosages may differ. Consumers should consult their pharmacist for the most suitable alternative product.

Kathleen Beatty
Americas Head of Communications and Government Affairs
GSK Consumer Healthcare

For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan

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