HeadOn

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Against allopathy
Alternative medicine
Icon alt med alt.svg
Clinically unproven
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HeadOn, apply directly to forehead! HeadOn, apply directly to forehead! HeadOn, apply directly to forehead!
HeadOn, apply directly to forehead![1][2]

HeadOn is a topical "homeopathic" "medicine" created by Miralus Healthcare that claims to cure headaches and migraines. Originally, it was a stick made of wax and not much else. Now, it's a stick made of wax with a few herbs in it. The medicine is famous mostly due to its horrible commercials.

Efficacy[edit]

tests showed that if you applied enough force at the moment of contact, you could enter a sleep, which helped for the current headaches, but when waking up they seemed to be worse.
—CampusCarl[3]

Before reformulation, HeadOn consisted almost entirely of wax. Since it was not water-based, it could not have had "water memory" and thus could not have been homeopathic. HeadOn contained potassium dichromateWikipedia's W.svg, diluted to one part per million, and White BryonyWikipedia's W.svg, diluted to one part per trillion -- akin to putting an eye dropper amount into 5 Olympic swimming pools.[4] Neither compound is known to relieve headaches.[4] In high inhalation exposures for human workers, potassium dichromate causes cancer;[5] HeadOn use would never reach these exposure levels.

In 2008, HeadOn was sold to Sirvision. Sirivision reformulated HeadOn as an homeopathic medicine "containing" herbs only.[6] Further, Sirivision claimed that HeadOn has a "clinically proven active ingredient for topical headache relief" inside it; no peer reviewed studies have examined the product.[7]

Of relevance: the placebo effect occurs in about 40% of headache medicine users.[7][8]

Commercials[edit]

The "apply directly to forehead" commercial was produced after the Better Business Bureau warned Miralus Healthcare about its claims of "fast, safe, effective headache relief".[9] Instead of going the Quack Miranda Warning route, Miralus decided not to include any factual claims (!) and organized focus groups and found that viewers remembered the repetitive commercial the most.[10] Miralus also produces several other quack products (ActivOn for arthitis, PreferOn for scar regrowth, RenewIn for joint pain) that use the same marketing tactics. Perhaps the company was trying to give people headaches and drum up some business.

Press head to pay respects[edit]

We have to give some respect to the makers of HeadOn for one of the greatest practical jokes of all time: getting millions of Americans to rub wax on their foreheads -- $6.5 million dollars of it.[2]

See also[edit]

Icon fun.svg For those of you in the mood, RationalWiki has a fun article about HeadOn.

External links[edit]

References[edit]