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Excedrin Side Effects

author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
Excedrin Side Effects
Treatment with Excedrin can cause you to experience difficulty sleeping as a side effect of this medication.

Excedrin (acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine) is an over-the-counter medication indicated for the alleviation of painful symptoms associated with headache or body pain. There are eight different formulations of Excedrin available as of 2010: Excedrin Extra Strength, Extra Strength Excedrin Express Gels, Excedrin Migraine, Excedrin Menstrual Complete, Excedrin Tension Headache, Excedrin Back and Body, Excedrin PM and Excedrin Sinus Headache. Side effects associated with Excedrin vary slightly based upon the formulation used. For further information, review the instructional information provided in the Excedrin packaging materials.

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Stomach Upset

The most common side effect associated with Excedrin use is stomach upset. After taking a dose of Excedrin, you can develop symptoms of stomach pain, nausea or vomiting. Certain people can also notice bowel habit changes, such as diarrhea or constipation. Such side effects can cause additional symptoms of abdominal cramping or bloating. You may also experience an abnormal burning sensation within your stomach, chest or throat (heartburn), which can be unpleasant or cause a decrease in your appetite. Eating a small snack or meal before taking a dose of Excedrin may limit the occurrence of stomach-related side effects in some people. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop chest pain or tightness or if you notice blood within your stools.

Difficulty Sleeping

Treatment with Excedrin can cause you to experience difficulty sleeping as a side effect of this medication, explain health professionals at, an informational peer-reviewed website that provides consumer data on currently marketed drug products. Excedrin contains caffeine--a stimulant that can cause increased energy or wakefulness in people who take this substance. You may notice that you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia) after taking a dose of Excedrin. Other people may experience excessive drowsiness or fatigue. After you determine how your body responds to this medication you can choose an appropriate time to take Excedrin to limit problematic consequences of sleep-related side effects.


While taking Excedrin, you can experience abnormal sensations of nervousness, restlessness or anxiety. These side effects can be accompanied by stomach upset, drowsiness or insomnia in certain people. Such sensations are temporary and will subside as the effects of this medication wear off.


Excedrin can cause headaches. Headache symptoms associated with Excedrin use are typically mild and can occur within any region of your head. If you experience dizziness or blurred vision in addition to a headache while taking Excedrin, contact your doctor immediately for further evaluation and care.

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