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Information on HeadOn’s Harmful Active Ingredient

Dr. Christina Peterson, a headache specialist near Portland, OR and founder of the Migraine Survival website, sent the following information about potassium dichromate, the dangerous active ingredient in HeadOn. She wrote:

“I would state it even more strongly. Here is the MSDS [Material Safety Data Sheet] for potassium dichromate. Here is just the toxicology section from the above:

‘Hexavalent chromium compounds are generally more toxic than trivalent chromium compounds. May be fatal if absorbed through the skin, if swallowed or inhaled. Contains chromium (VI), a known cancer hazard. Allergen. Corrosive. Skin eye and respiratory irritant. May act as a sensitizer. Typical PEL 0.5 mg /m3.’

[It is] an oxidizing agent, used in pyrotechnics, explosives and safety matches.

I can only imagine it is being allowed to be marketed because a) it is not generally absorbed through the skin and b) the concentration is fairly low. I certainly would not risk skin cancer when there is zero evidence of either efficacy testing or safety testing.”

For more information on potassium dichromate, Dr. Peterson provided links to the American Chemical Society’s Chemical Laboratory Information Profile and a detailed MSDS from chemical company Mallinckrodt Baker.

It’s not getting anywhere near my skin!

Thanks for the information, Dr. Peterson.

21 Responses to Information on HeadOn’s Harmful Active Ingredient

  1. Diana says:

    Thank you for sharing this great information. I can’t believe I ever used this stuff, but I’m glad we now know what we’re dealing with.

  2. Bure says:

    Thanks for this update, I just threw out my tube of HeadOn. Actually if I’d seen the ad before I bought it, I would *not* have bought the stuff. The ad is headache inducing.

  3. Kerrie says:

    Thanks! I just posted on the ad: http://www.thedailyheadache.com/2006/07/headon_commerci.html — there’s a good spoof on it.

    K

  4. Myth says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I contemplated looking for it. I used to have some headache balm and headache lotion, that worked quite nice for a mild migraine and was soothing on the extra muscle tension. Made with herbal stuff. But since they were both gifts, I guess I will have to hunt those ones down instead. Why do damn irritating ciommercials have to stick in your head so well anyway.

    *********
    What are the names of the products you’ve been using? I’m always up for trying a new one.

    K

  5. Lily says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. I’m constantly annoyed by that commercial & had no clue what they were trying to sell me. I thought it was forehead antiperspirant. LOL!

    I read somewhere that they call HeadOn a herbal medication, which it’s obviously not.

    I will spread the word about this potentially dangerous product!

  6. Angie says:

    I know it can be discouraging for physicians to feel that they are losing money when patients find a remedy for an illness that used to regularly land them in a physician’s office so I am not at all surprised by all of the claims about how dangerous this product is!!! Take away the office co-pay and the financial kickback a doctor receives from major drug companies for writing prescriptions for their products, and ANY doctor will quickly jump on this bandwagon!!!!

    Head On worked for me like a charm and I would recommend it. My husband used it & it worked for him as well. When oral meds cannot be taken for a headache due to vomiting, what else is one supposed to do??? Just suffer through a throbbing headace??? Not me….I bought Head On, tried it, and it worked almost instantly, thank God!!!! Keep downgrading the product though it won’t bring patients back who tried it & had success with it.

  7. Gayle says:

    I bought this and used it, and loved it! Why is it everything that works has to be bad for you?? I’ll take my chances; you can pry it out of my cold, dark, cancerous hands!

  8. Chris says:

    I love this product. Well, if i use it too much I do end up with a red, non-itching rash on my forehead, but who cares. My only problem is that I can’t find it in the store anymore. I still have some of my Activ-on, which is used for muscles, but doesn’t work even half as well for my headaches.

  9. Cam says:

    Angie, you’re delusional. Go look up the MSDS for potassium dichromate yourself. I work with it in a chemistry lab wearing full protective gear and I still hate working with the stuff. It’s poisonous, plain and simple. If you enjoy putting a KNOWN carcinogen on your face be my guest.

  10. Kellie says:

    I love Headon. Well, if I cannot use it any more can I use Icy Hot on my forehead? I always wondered about that. No where does the packaging say you can’t.

    *******
    I know of people who do. Just be sure it doesn’t get near your eyes. Let us know how it works!

    Kerrie

  11. Carolyn says:

    I have Temporal Neuralgia and have taken different meds. for relief but nothing seems to help. My husband found HeadOn and got it for me. I tried it and it works wonderfully. The soothing effects last almost 3 hrs. (no other rub-on product works as long) NOTHING else works as great as this does and the pain I have from the temporal nerve is way beyond any “normal” migraine. This works and I will continue to use it until I can’t find it anymore. I have been told by a pharmacist that it’s not being made any longer. And also all the ‘bad’reports say nothing about the dosage…this only has 0.05%.

    • Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry that something so helpful for you is no longer available. I wish you the best of luck in finding relief.

      Take care,
      Kerrie

  12. Angel says:

    I sit here in the dark petting my phone in vain trying to find Headon nursing a major migraine.

    I have not been able to find it and just read that they DC’d it. It was truly a wonderful product. And sometimes depending on what caused my migraine would either work completely and instantly, or relieve the symptoms enough to get by.

    I can’t believe it is no longer being made. Icy Hot or any of those products never worked for me. I hope I can find something to replace it!

    As far as it being dangerous and carcinogenic, nearly everything we deal with has an MSDS sheet and can cause cancer and other ailments in extreme amounts. You should see what aloe or shea butter do to my skin.

    Naproxyn Sodium…approved by the FDA, breaks me out in hives. Hopefully the FDA truly vetted this product before taking it off the shelf. Either that or they sold out to big pharma like they often do.

  13. Nay says:

    I used this product when it first came out. And it seemed to help. I suffer from migraines. The second time I used it, I was having a severe migraine and just coated my right temple and forehead with the product. My forehead and eyebrows swole up like a balloon. My right eye was almost swole closed and my eyebrows and forehead looked like frankenstein!! I had to see my Dr and get a shot for allergic reaction. So Be Careful.

  14. Isabel says:

    I suffer from Chronic Migraines which many come from Sinus Pain. Head-On was magnificient in relieving a good 70% of the Sinus Migraine Pain however you have to apply to the forehead, not close to your eyes. As a migraine medication it was inexpensive, compared to my regular $289 for 9 tablets migraine med. I won’t advertise it here, but I found it to be such rip off that Pharmaceutical Companies in the U.S. have an absolute Monopoly in ripping all of us off and have the FDA in their pocket, disallowing better, more effective and inexpensive meds from Pharmaceutical companies from other countries. I wonder who (What competing Migraine Pharmaceutical Corp? ) sabotaged Head-On?

  15. Isabel says:

    About the harmful ingredient mentioned here, it is a minimal amount which the body easily disposes of it. You, any American, ingests much more harmful toxic Cancerous substances when you eat meat (injected with Pink Slime, Amonia, HGH and mercury), or chicken, turkey, pig (85% of all these meats come from the same giant Factory- Same Corporation, same owners) and also any boxed, refrigerated, frozen, pre-prepared, cooked all come with much more HARMFUL PRESERVATIVES. Even our Vegetables are now Genetically modified hence losing its nutrients. Check FilmsForAction.org A documentary called “Food matters”. Also Foods Inc.

  16. Darla says:

    I am a nurse that suffered from horrible migrains. But before I learned that I had high blood pressure, I had a headache that put my migrains to shame. My brother had the HeadOn stuff and I tried it since I couldn’t see doctor for a few days, I really helped make the pain decrease to the point I could actually tollerate it. Then at doctor visit found out about the high blood pressure. I was amazed by this product since the only thing I know of as a nurse that relieves high blood pressure headaches is getting your blood pressure under control.

  17. Diana says:

    The only thing that ever helped to almost immediately relieve my migraine without additional nausea or sleepiness that $269 or $499 prescription medications cause in an hour to take affect. What a shame to have to suffer almost daily and patients cannot make the choice. Pharmaceutical regimens cannot be more beneficial if proper research were done. They merely rob our pockets and savings and cause us to suffer when we refuse to pay!

  18. kathy says:

    i think they took it off the market just because it works, and are threatened by the loss of sales for the countless other products for headache relief, think about it, (and by THEY, i mean the government, they make tons of money from pharmacuticles) and if i look at the box of any OTC pain relief there is supposedly no harmful ingredients, come on, and THOSE are worse because they are ingested not just absorbed, the doctors said so themselves “headon ingredients are way too low to cause illness” im pissed because as soon as it was removed from shelves I KNEW why they did it, and it is NOT to keep us safe, its to keep lining their pockets, and why not make the product without this ingredient, because the headon people got a big payday to not take away our symptoms.

  19. Adam says:

    It’s was taken off the shelves because of peoples negative feedback (potassium dichromate). The people who discuss how awful this product is, and how bad it is for your health, have never really suffered from migraine headaches. Because if they had and this product worked for you…. this wouldn’t even be a discussion! I suffer from severe migraine headaches and 3 BC powders (Each powder contains Aspirin 845 mg, and Caffeine 65 mg) are the only thing that will touch it. Because I get 2-3 Migraines a week the aspirin has actually started to create ulcers in my colon…… My Dr said, If it’s the only thing that works for your headaches, then make sure you eat something when you take the BC powders. There is always bad with the good…..

  20. Nancy says:

    I have severe diabetic neuropathy in my feet. Headon migraine works instantly to stop the debilitating pain. I don’t know what I will do now that I am out of it. The “prescribed” medications come with pages of side effects. What a shame that they took a medication away from us that actually stops suffering.

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