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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Anacin Advanced Headache Formula, Excedrin, Excedrin Express Gels, Excedrin Extra Strength, Excedrin Extra Strength Geltab, Excedrin Geltab, Excedrin Menstrual Express Gels, Excedrin Migraine, Excedrin Migraine Geltab, Genace, Goodys Extra Strength, Goody's Headache Powders, Pain Reliever Plus

Generic Name: acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine (Pronunciation: ah SEET a MIN oh fen, ASP i rin, and KAF een)

What is acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine (Anacin Advanced Headache Formula, Excedrin, Excedrin Express Gels, Excedrin Extra Strength, Excedrin Extra Strength Geltab, Excedrin Geltab, Excedrin Menstrual Express Gels, Excedrin Migraine, Excedrin Migraine Geltab, Genace, Goodys Extra Strength, Goody's Headache Powders, Pain Reliever Plus)?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer.

Aspirin is in a group of drugs called salicylates (sa-LIS-il-ates). It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation.

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It relaxes muscle contractions in blood vessels to improve blood flow.

The combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine is used to treat pain caused by tension headaches, migraine headaches, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, arthritis, toothaches, the common cold, or nasal congestion.

Aspirin should be used for cardiovascular conditions only under the supervision of a doctor.

Acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • weakness or fainting;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain;
  • redness or swelling;
  • low fever with nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • fever lasting longer than 3 days;
  • pain lasting longer than 10 days; or
  • hearing problems, ringing in your ears.

Less serious side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine?

Aspirin should not be given to a child or teenager who has a fever, especially if the child also has flu symptoms or chicken pox. Aspirin can cause a serious and sometimes fatal condition called Reye's syndrome in children.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, or caffeine, or if you have liver disease, stomach or intestinal bleeding, a history of asthma or severe allergic reaction to aspirin or an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).

Do not take this medication without a doctor's advice if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis) or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day. You may not be able to take acetaminophen.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine if you have asthma or seasonal allergies, fever with a stiff neck, a stomach ulcer or pain, heartburn, a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, diabetes, or gout.

Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any symptoms of liver damage or bleeding in your stomach or intestines. Symptoms of liver damage include nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Symptoms of stomach bleeding include weakness or fainting, bloody or tarry stools, and coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking this medication. Alcohol may increase your risk of stomach bleeding while taking aspirin, or liver damage while taking acetaminophen.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cough, cold, allergy, pain, menstrual symptom, or fever medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Aspirin and caffeine are also contained in many combination medicines. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen, APAP, aspirin, or caffeine.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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