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Difference Between Excedrin Migraine and Extra Strength

Excedrin Migraine vs Extra Strength

Pain that is brought about by several conditions can be very troublesome on the part of the sufferer. It is considered the fifth vital sign which is essential in the determination of health status but is disturbing on several occasions. The use of analgesia or pain medication has become an easy step in relieving and treating pain.

Excedrin has been part of the list of dynamic pain medication products throughout the years. It is an over-the-counter (OTC) drug that was introduced to cure headaches of different severities and other pain-related conditions. It contains acetaminophen which has antipyretic and analgesic properties, aspirin, which also has the latter plus anti-inflammatory and antiplatelet effects, and caffeine which is a psychoactive stimulant.

Currently, there are about eight Excedrin products that cater to specific pain related conditions, namely:

Express Gels which are gellcaps used for fast headache relief.

Menstrual Complete which works against bloating, cramps, muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue.

Tension Headache which gives relief for head, neck, and shoulder pain brought about by tension-type headaches.

Excedrin PM which aids insomnia-related pain.

Back and Body which acts as a pain reliever and blocker in one.

Sinus Headache which relieves sinus and nasal congestion and headache pain.

Two of its products, Excedrin Migraine and Extra Strength, are similar in nature for pain modification yet are different in some ways.

Produced in 1998, Excedrin was granted Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to introduce Migraine, a specifically made drug to combat migraine pain and other associated symptoms. Meanwhile, Extra Strength is the oldest among Excedrin’s line of products which was earlier introduced in the 1960’s. It was branded as the first multi-ingredient headache drug.

Migraine is available in gelcaps, tablets, and caplets form while Extra Strength is available also in gelcap form.

Though similar in formulation, dosages are deemed different. Migraine’s recommended dosage is “For adults: Take 2 tablets with a glass of water and do not take more than 2 tablets in 24 hours unless directed by a doctor.” Extra Strength’s dosage is “For adults and children 12 years and over: Take 2 caplets every 6 hours; not more than 8 caplets in 24 hours.”

Both drugs are a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine with amounts of 250 mg, 250 mg and 65 mg, respectively.


1.Excedrine Migraine was introduced in 1998 while Extra Strength was the pioneer among the product line as it was made available in the early 1960’s.

2.Migraine is available in three forms while Extra Strength is available in four.

3.Migraine’s recommended dosage is 2 tablets per 24 hours while Extra Strength must be taken 2 caplets every 6 hours; not more than 8 caplets in 24 hours.

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  1. So, can they be used interchangeably, since the ingredients and quantity of ingredients are identical?

  2. Simply put, put the dosages for migraine and standard on the same bottle. Same product in two different packages that are completely interchangeable is deceitful.

  3. So will the extra strength, I have to use more tablets rather than using less with the migraine…? I would think you would take less pills with the “extra” strength. Little confused!?

  4. I completely agree. How can they just slap a different label on the same exact formula of headache medication and call one extra strength excedrin, while the other one says “migrain” on it and charge a higher price for the migrain label? It is the SAME EXACT active ingrediates with a different color of label and name on the bottle. And what REALLY is crazy, is the dosage instructions!!!! Migrain is suppose to be stronger. Yet the directions for use tells you to not exceed 2 tablets a day while you can take up to 8 of the extra strength a day! Am I crazy? Or shouldn’t that be the other way around?

  5. It’s still the same exact ingredients. 250 Mg’s of each and 65 Mg’s of Caffeine. Migraine says don’t take more than 2 of them a day. Extra Strength says up to 8 a day is okay. So really people with Migraines could just buy the Extra Strength and only take 2 of them a day and nothing else would be different about it. Which really doesn’t make much sense to me. I’d think people suffering from Migraine would need more than 2 a day if their Migraines last longer than the Excedrin do. Excedrin should have made the Migraine pills with more than 250 Mg’s per Caplet. They should have bumped it up to more like 300 Mg’s of each for a total of 600 Mg’s. I have seen Extra Strength Tylenols that come in 650 Mg’s so why not Excedrin ? Do I have to start my own brand of Pain Pills and show everyone how it’s done ?

  6. Migraines only need 1 dosage (2 pills in 24 hrs) for effectiveness. After one dosage a typical migraine will be gone.
    Extra strength is more “powerful” because of higher dosage at 2 pills every 6 hours and used for chronic pain or post surgery / injury that could last a couple days.
    Simple answer: By the cheapest one. Take 1 dose for migraine or any other pain. If it still hurts after 6 hours , take another dose. They are the same pill.

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