How Long Does Excedrin Migraine Stay in Your System?

Living with migraines is challenging due to throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound. Excedrin Migraine is a popular over-the-counter medication that provides effective relief, but knowing its duration in your system is essential for safe usage.

So, how long does Excedrin Migraine stay in your system?

The duration of Excedrin Migraine in your system depends on factors like half-lives of active ingredients (acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine), amount of drug, body mass, and metabolism. It mostly lasts within a day, but individual variations exist, providing relief for up to 6 hours. 

This article will delve into Excedrin Migraine and its presence in the body. Keep reading! 

Excedrin Migraine And How It Works?

Excedrin Migraine is a combination medication specifically designed to provide relief for migraines. It contains three active ingredients: acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine. Each of these components works in different ways to help alleviate migraine symptoms.

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. Although its exact mechanism is not fully understood, it primarily affects the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. Acetaminophen helps increase the body’s pain threshold by reducing the production of prostaglandins, substances associated with pain.

On the other hand, aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that not only relieves pain but also reduces inflammation, such as swelling and irritation. Like acetaminophen, aspirin also reduces the production of prostaglandins, but it does so differently.

Caffeine, while not a pain reliever itself, acts as a vasoconstrictor. This means that it causes blood vessels to narrow. In Excedrin Migraine, caffeine works specifically on the blood vessels in your brain. Narrowing these blood vessels helps to reduce the amount of blood flowing through them at any given time. This action is beneficial because migraines often occur when blood vessels in the brain expand or widen, causing intense headaches.

Additionally, caffeine can also provide relief from headaches caused by caffeine withdrawal. If someone is accustomed to consuming caffeine regularly and suddenly stops, it can lead to headaches. In such cases, caffeine in Excedrin Migraine can help alleviate those withdrawal symptoms.

How Long Does Excedrin Migraine Stay in Your System?

The length of effects of different drugs varies greatly. The same applies to how long a drug remains in the body’s systems after its effects have worn off. Some medications will stay in your system for days, while others will stay in your system for months. 

The length of time Excedrin Migraine remains in your system is determined by a number of factors. Excedrin Migraine contains three primary active ingredients: 

  • Acetaminophen (paracetamol), 
  • Aspirin
  • Caffeine

Each ingredient has its half-life, which is the time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body.

Acetaminophen (Paracetamol): Acetaminophen has an elimination half-life of approximately 2 to 3 hours. This means that within this time frame, half of the acetaminophen dose you consumed will be cleared from your system.

Aspirin: Aspirin has a relatively short half-life of around 15 to 20 minutes. It is quickly metabolized and eliminated from the body.

Caffeine: Caffeine has a longer half-life compared to acetaminophen and aspirin. In healthy individuals, the half-life of caffeine ranges from 3 to 5 hours. However, individual factors such as metabolism, liver function, and hydration levels can influence this duration.

Considering the half-lives of its active ingredients, it can be estimated that Excedrin Migraine will be mostly eliminated from your system within a day or so. However, it’s important to note that individual variations exist due to factors like metabolism, liver function, hydration, and the presence of other medications or substances in the body.

Several factors can affect how long Excedrin Migraine stays in your system:

1. Amount of Drug

The dose and duration of medication use can impact detection times. Smaller amounts and short-term use may result in shorter detection times, while heavy or prolonged use can extend the elimination period.

2. Body Mass

Drugs can accumulate in fatty tissues, so individuals with higher body mass may experience longer detection times.

3. Metabolic Rate

Metabolic rate, which can be influenced by age and specific health conditions, varies from person to person. Higher metabolic rates generally lead to shorter detection times for drugs like Excedrin Migraine.

Excedrin Migraine typically lasts up to 6 hours in terms of providing relief from migraine pain. However, the duration of Excedrin Migraine in your system depends on various factors, including the half-lives of its active ingredients, individual metabolism, liver function, hydration levels, and other medications or substances present in your body.

Excedrin Migraine Side Effects 

Excedrin Migraine Side Effects 

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Common side effects of Excedrin Migraine are typically attributed to the caffeine content in the medication. These side effects may diminish as your body adjusts to the medication, but if they persist or become problematic, it is advisable to contact your doctor. The common side effects include:

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Sleeping trouble
  • Rapid heartbeat

Serious side effects of Excedrin Migraine are primarily associated with the acetaminophen and aspirin components of the medication. These side effects are less common but can be severe and require immediate medical attention. If you experience any of the following serious side effects, it is essential to contact your doctor or call emergency services (such as 9-1-1) right away:

  • Allergic reaction: This can manifest as difficulty breathing, the presence of itchy, red blisters, a rash, or any other signs of an allergic reaction.
  • Bleeding in the stomach, which can be identified by the presence of bloody or black, tarry stools. Vomiting blood is another potential symptom. 
  • An upset stomach that does not improve quickly.

It’s essential to note that this information serves as a general overview of potential side effects and is not exhaustive. If you have specific concerns about Excedrin Migraine or are experiencing any unusual symptoms, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider.

Excedrin Migraine Dosage

Excedrin Migraine is available in the form of caplets that are taken orally. Each caplet contains three active ingredients: 250 mg of acetaminophen, 250 mg of aspirin, and 65 mg of caffeine.

  • Adult 

The recommended dosage for adults who are 18 years and older is two caplets taken with a glass of water. It is important to note that the maximum dosage within 24 hours should not exceed two caplets.

  • Children And Teens Below 18 Years

Regarding children and teenagers younger than 18, it is advised to consult with a doctor before giving them Excedrin Migraine. This precaution is necessary because the medication contains aspirin, linked to a rare but serious condition called Reye’s syndrome. 

To ensure the child’s safety, aspirin products should not be given to children younger than 12. Additionally, if a teenager is recovering from a viral disease such as chickenpox or the flu, aspirin should not be administered to them.

It is crucial to carefully follow the dosage instructions provided on the product’s packaging and consult a healthcare professional if there are any concerns or questions regarding the appropriate use of Excedrin Migraine, especially for children and teenagers.

Here is an information table for Excedrin Migraine:


250 mg per tablet

250 mg per tablet


65 mg per tablet

18 years & older

Recommended Dose

2 tablets per day (max. 2 per day)


Drug Interactions

Excedrin Migraine may interact with various medications, including:

  • Blood thinners like warfarin, rivaroxaban, and apixaban
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin (81 mg or 325 mg), enteric-coated aspirin, and celecoxib
  • Gout drugs like probenecid.
  • Antiseizure drugs like phenytoin and valproic acid
  • Medications used to treat clots like alteplase and reteplase
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors like lisinopril, enalapril, and ramipril
  • Antacids like sodium bicarbonate and magnesium hydroxide
  • Psychiatric drugs like furazolidone, procarbazine, and selegiline
  • Antidepressants like sertraline and venlafaxine
  • Antiplatelet drugs like clopidogrel, prasugrel, and ticagrelor
  • Diuretics like furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide
  • Fluoroquinolones like ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and ofloxacin
  • Herbal medications like echinacea, garlic, ginger, and ginkgo
  • Clozapine
  • Methotrexate

These interactions can affect the effectiveness of Excedrin Migraine or other medications and increase the risk of side effects. It is crucial to consult your doctor before taking Excedrin Migraine if you are using any of the mentioned medications to ensure your safety and avoid potential complications.


You should be aware of specific warnings associated with Excedrin Migraine use. 

  • It is essential to avoid giving Excedrin Migraine to a child or teenager who has a fever, flu symptoms, or chickenpox. This is because Excedrin Migraine contains aspirin, potentially leading to a severe and sometimes fatal condition called Reye’s syndrome in children.
  • To ensure your safety, it is crucial not to exceed the recommended dosage of Excedrin Migraine. An overdose of acetaminophen, one of the active ingredients in Excedrin Migraine, can cause liver damage or even be fatal. If you experience symptoms such as nausea, pain in the upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), seek immediate medical attention or call emergency services (such as 911 in the United States).
  • Aspirin, another ingredient in Excedrin Migraine, can potentially cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be life-threatening. If you notice symptoms such as bloody or tarry stools or cough e grounds, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly.
  • While rare, acetaminophen can occasionally lead to a severe skin reaction. If you develop skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling after taking Excedrin Migraine, discontinue its use and contact your doctor immediately.

It is vital to adhere to these warnings and seek medical advice promptly if you experience any concerning symptoms or reactions while taking Excedrin Migraine.

Before Taking Excedrin Migraine 

Before taking Excedrin Migraine, it is crucial to consider the following factors:

1. Allergies 

If you are allergic to acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, caffeine, or any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Orudis, Indocin, Lodine, Voltaren, Toradol, Mobic, Relafen, Feldene, and others. Then you should avoid using Excedrin Migraine.

2. Stomach or intestinal bleeding

Aspirin, one of the active ingredients in Excedrin Migraine, can potentially cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be life-threatening. Such conditions may occur suddenly without warning while taking this medication.

3. Medical conditions

It is crucial to consult with a doctor or pharmacist to determine if taking Excedrin Migraine is safe. If you have certain medical conditions, such as:

  • liver disease 
  • cirrhosis, consuming alcohol more than 3 times per day
  • asthma or seasonal allergies
  • high blood pressure 
  • stomach ulcer, stomach or intestinal bleeding, ulcerative colitis
  • kidney disease
  • thyroid issues
  • if you use medication to treat glaucoma or prevent blood clots.

4. Seek medical attention

If you take Excedrin Migraine to alleviate headache pain, it is advisable to seek medical attention under the following circumstances:

  • Experiencing a headache so severe that you need to lie down.
  • Having a headache accompanied by vomiting.
  • Sensing the worst headache you’ve ever experienced.
  • Noticing a headache that feels different from your usual headaches.
  • Experiencing headaches daily.
  • Having a headache after coughing, bending, exercising, or sustaining a head injury.
  • Never having been diagnosed with migraines by a healthcare professional.

5. Pregnancy

Aspirin can harm an unborn baby’s heart and may have other dangerous effects, including reduced birth weight. It is essential to inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while taking Excedrin Migraine.

6. Breastfeeding

Excedrin Migraine contains aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine, which can pass into breast milk and potentially harm a nursing baby. It is recommended to avoid breastfeeding while using this medication.

Remember, these precautions are essential to ensure the safe and effective use of Excedrin Migraine. Always consult a healthcare professional or pharmacist before starting or changing any medication regimen.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can You Take Ibuprofen With Excedrin Migraine?

Taking ibuprofen and Excedrin Migraine together is generally not recommended due to the increased risk of bleeding, especially in older patients. 

  • Can I take Excedrin Migraine For Other Types Of Headaches?

You can take Excedrin for Migraine tension-type headaches if you limit its use to no more than two days per week on average.

  • Can You Take Excedrin On An Empty Stomach?

It is generally recommended to avoid taking Excedrin on an empty stomach, as it contains aspirin which can cause stomach irritation.


To conclude, how long Excedrin Migraine stays in your system varies depending on individual factors, but it is typically eliminated within a day.

It is essential to be aware of potential side effects, drug interactions, dosage instructions, and warnings before using Excedrin Migraine to ensure safe and effective use. Consult with a healthcare professional for children and individuals with specific medical conditions.

Marzia Khan
Marzia Khan

Marzia Khan is the director of content and operations at RobustAlive. She contributes to content strategy and process management across product initiatives, RND, and the editorial. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Frontline, and the PBS. Before joining RobustAlive, she also co-authored award-winning research on health and wellness and participated in various initiatives to increase awareness about healthy living and chronic disease prevention. She acts as the co-editor for RobustAlive and brings an expansive network of connections to the table while managing activity execution where required.