Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

A Pain Reliever for Every Symptom

December 1st, 2009 by Elizabeth Kissling

Excedrin-1A friend just pointed me to Excedrin’s web page for Excedrin® Menstrual Complete, with “a unique triple ingredient combination that relieves 5 of your major symptoms — bloating, cramps, muscle aches, headache, and fatigue.” You know, for “[w]hen your period feels like it’s going to be one of those days.”

Friends, it’s not really a unique combination, since it’s EXACTLY the same ingredient blend contained in plain ol’ Excedrin® Extra Strength and in Excedrin® Migraine:

Well, there is one difference. Caffeine is identified as a “pain reliever aid” in the other two formulas, while in Excedrin® Menstrual Complete it’s called a diuretic.

I’m not saying that acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine won’t cure what ails you, just telling Novartis they’re not fooling anybody with this gambit.

4 responses to “A Pain Reliever for Every Symptom”

  1. genehack says:

    As my wife pointed out, there’s another difference — cost. After a quick run through ‘Google products’ this morning, the cheapest I could find ‘Menstrual Complete’ was $4.71 for 20 — versus 24 ‘Extra Strength’ for around a dollar. Exact same active ingredients, exact same dosage…

  2. Lauren Z says:

    Wow, that is especially ridiculous. I’m glad blatantly ripping off women is a business choice they’re willing to make.

  3. archdiva says:

    I discovered this exact same thing awhile back when comparing migraine formula pain relievers. Excedrin is the king of niche marketing on their products. So I buy Target’s store brand instead!

  4. Elizabeth Kissling says:

    Thanks, genehack. That little detail wasn’t available on Excedrin’s web site!

    (See this post at Bitch magazine today for how that happens with other products as well.)

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