Anacin was invented by William Milton Knight and was first to be used circa 1916 as stated in the patent. Anacin is one of the oldest brands of pain relievers in the United States, first being sold in the 1930s. Anacin's mascot at the time was Ana Anacin. Anacin was also a leading sponsor of the television soaps Love of Life, The Secret Storm and the early years of The Young and the Restless.
In 2014, Prestige Brands signed an agreement with Insight to acquire the company; it was Prestige Brand's largest acquisition to that point.