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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

HeadOn, PissOff!

At 7am on a Tuesday morning, I can assure you that I am usually watching the clock tick away the last painful minutes of my work week. This past Tuesday morning was no exception. Imagine my chagrin when the phone rings...

Final annoyance of the week: Have you heard of HeadOn?

Me: (exhaling audibly, irritation almost palpable) Yes, I'm familiar.

Final annoyance of the week: Well, I was putting it on my forehead, and it started to melt. Now it's in my eye. It's very uncomfortable and there isn't a phone number for the company on the box.

Me: Maybe you should call 1-800-HEADON or something? How about poison control?

Perhaps I'm a little too cynical or jaded. But my refusal to troubleshoot for this HeadOn victim was my passive aggressive way of rebuffing all that is wrong with most OTC products and home remedies. They can sell whatever they want, and imply it's intended use, without using things like science or reason to back up their claims. What's even worse, we sell this type of shit at McDruggie's, which implies that the licensed professionals behind the counter tacitly approve of their use. Make no mistake, I will always lead the consumer away from these types of products at my counter. Unfortunately, they don't always ring their items up at the pharmacy counter (unless I'm by myself and clearly very busy... but that's another blog entirely).

If up until this point you have been lucky enough to avoid the HeadOn media blitzkrieg, then know these immutable truths...

#1 - There is a god in heaven and s/he must love you very, very much
#2 - You have gainful, daytime employment (or no television)

For the unindoctrinated, Wikipedia (a source worthy of such a sham) describes HeadOn thusly:

HeadOn is a topical product intended for headache relief, produced by Miralus Healthcare, which claims it is a homeopathic remedy.[1] Although intended uses are not listed on the website or in the commercial spot, the implicit purpose of the product is to reduce discomfort caused by headaches.[1]

Chemical analysis has shown that the product consists almost entirely of wax. The two listed active ingredients, white bryony (a type of vine) and potassium dichromate, are diluted to .000001 PPM and 1 PPM respectively.[2] This amount of dilution is so great that the product is arguably a placebo. Seymour Diamond, director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago and the inpatient headache unit at St. Joseph Hospital. Diamond, has been quoted as saying "I see nothing in this product that has any validity whatsoever."[3] However, the package does list menthol as an inactive ingredient; menthol is one of the active ingredients of Vicks VapoRub. Correspondence has been published with a statement from HeadOn Customer Service that "It works through the nerves."[4] The Better Business Bureau has asked Miralus Healthcare not to make claims that HeadOn cures headaches.

Miralus Healthcare claims that HeadOn is safe, so that "[i]t can be used by anyone and as often as needed. There are no dosage restrictions or health risks associated with its use."[5]

HeadOn is manufactured in Chicago, while Miralus Healthcare has offices in Canada and Florida.[6]

So, more than likely this poor victim on the phone will be just fine. In a perfect world though, they would be blinded for life. Sounds a little harsh? Follow me on this one... The commercials make absolutely ZERO claims of benefit for this product. Its true! I dare you to endure the commercial if you think otherwise. My point is this, if you buy everything you see, then perhaps Social Darwinism should kick in and steal your eyes. I'm just putting it out there.


--Lori said...

I agree...survival of the fittest!

Filet-o-bitch RPh said...

Lovely as always...

Big 'N Tasty RPH said...

Head On--pay $10 to wipe chapstick on your forehead---it really works! Homeopathy is the greatest!

PharmacyTales said...

Those HeadOn commercials drive me nuts and I have vowed to change the channel every time I see one. It's too bad, I really like CNN, but they run those commercials all the time.

HeadOn reminds me of that Airborne crap. Some friggin vitamin/herb concoction that some school teacher supposedly developed. It certainly won't keep you from getting sick like it implies on the package.

The success of these products just goes to show you that with good advertising you can sell anything to the morons that sit at home all day watching television. It amazes me to see them come in, like zombies, whenever one of these "new" "breakthrough" products hits the airwaves

Anonymous said...

Ok. I agree with much of this post but have you ever tried the stuff? I avoid all that homeopathetic b.s. but my wife insisted I try headon after I complained of frequent long lasting headaches that didn't go away or even decrease in intensity with the normal treatment. I used the headon and was shocked to feel better within minutes. I've gone on to use it at the start of all my headaches and without fail they either disappear within minutes (compared to the hours of pain I had in the past per headache) or are much easier to take in terms of pain, light sensitivity, etc. Maybe its the placebo effect or menthol, but it works where meds failed me.