The title of a video I came across on YouTube is “Headache Stay Gone Cures and Prevents Migraines.” After I watched the video, I visited their web site.
Their web site brazenly promises:
- “Headache Stay Gone will cure your headaches; even migraines and end your nightmare.”
- “Headache Stay Gone is formulated using all-natural herbs and vitamins. To date; we know of no side effects after thousands have taken Headache Stay Gone.
- “Headache Stay Gone has been on the market since May 2006 and was used by people who chose to try it even before that; for a couple of years. We have NEVER heard of even one Headache Stay Gone customer having a problem taking Headache Stay Gone when he or she was taking prescription drugs.”
- “Even migraines are cured. After you have been headache free for 3 months, you can stop taking Headache Stay Gone and still be headache free. “
Pretty bold statements, and there’s nothing on their site other than “testimonials” to back their claims. No study results or anything like that.
A glance at the ingredients makes me wish this was believable:
- ginger mint
- blue vervain
- slippery elm
- white willow bark
Those ingredients look so “natural,” so “safe.” And that’s a problem. These “natural” substances are durgs, but since this type of prroduct is so looselly regulated by the FDA, they can get away with making these claims.
I didn’t take time to look up all the ingredients, but here’s what I found out about a few of them:
White willow bark:
“Because willow bark contains salicin, people who are allergic or sensitive to salicylates (such as aspirin) should not use willow bark. Some researchers suggest that people with asthma, diabetes, gout, gastritis, hemophilia, and stomach ulcers should also avoid willow bark. If you have any of these conditions, take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regularly or blood-thinning medication, be sure to consult your health care provider before taking willow bark. Willow bark should not given to children under the age of 16.”
“Side effects tend to be mild. However, gastrointestinal irritation and ulcers are potentially associated with all compounds containing salicylates. Overdoses of willow bark may cause skin rash, stomach inflammation/irritation, nausea, vomiting, kidney inflammation, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).”
“Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Salicylates are not recommended during pregnancy, so pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take willow bark.”
“Interactions and Depletions
Because willow bark contains salicylates, it has the potential to interact with a number of drugs and herbs. Talk to your doctor before taking willow bark if you take any other medications, herbs, or supplements.”
“Willow bark may interact with any of the following:
- Anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications) — Willow bark may strengthen the effects of drugs and herbs with blood-thinning properties.
- Beta blockers — including Atenolol (Tenormin), Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL), Propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA). Willow bark may reduce the effectiveness of these drugs.
- Diuretics (water pills) — Willow bark may reduce the effectiveness of these drugs.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs — including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Taking willow bark with these drugs may increase risk of stomach bleeding.
- Methotrexate and phenytoin (Dilantin) — Willow may increase levels of these drugs in the body, resulting in toxic levels.
“Although Hops has sedative effects it is not recommended for administration to infants and children. Individuals who suffer from major depression or who use medication for insomnia or anxiety such as: carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, alprazolam, diazepam, Ambien, diphenhydramine, doxepin and nortriptyline are advised to avoid taking hops due to it sedative properties as well.”
“Because Hops has diuretic properties which may affect certain enzymes in the liver, individuals using prescription drugs such as Allegra, Sporanox and Nizoral, etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine , lovastatin and oral contraceptives should contact their health care provider before start using Hops. Combining Hops with other sedative herbs such as: Catnip, St. John’s Wort, Valerian, or Kava Kava may result in excessive sedation.”
(University of Maryland Medical Center)
“When should I be careful taking it?
Meadowsweet has been shown to cause tightening of the air passages in the lungs. Such tightening–known as a bronchospasm–can cause or worsen an asthma attack. Therefore, individuals with asthma should avoid using meadowsweet.”
“Because of its aspirin-like component, meadowsweet should not be given to children. Although no cases involving meadowsweet have been reported, aspirin may cause a rare but potentially dangerous condition called Reye’s syndrome in children. Reye’s syndrome usually develops as a patient is recovering from a viral illness such as flu or chickenpox. The first signs of Reye’s syndrome include intense vomiting and drowsiness. Behavior changes, confusion, seizures, and coma may follow.”
“Individuals with allergies to aspirin or sulfites should also avoid taking meadowsweet due to its similarities to aspirin.”
“In animal studies, meadowsweet showed a slight possibility of causing uterine contractions, therefore women who are pregnant should avoid taking meadowsweet.”
“Some laboratory studies appear to show that meadowsweet flowers and seeds (which not usually included in medicine) contain a chemical similar to heparin, a drug used to prevent blood clotting. The salicylate component found in meadowsweet may also have some inhibiting effect on blood clotting. Individuals with disorders of blood clotting should avoid using meadowsweet.”
- There’s no proof that Headahe Stay Gone can “cure” headaches and Migraines.
- They claim not to know of any side effects, yet there are clearly possible side effects for some if not all of the ingredients.
- They claim not to have heard of even one drug interaction, yet there are clearly possible interactions.
Shouldn’t they have to reveal possible side effects and interactions. I certainly think so. How do they get away with not doing it? Well, that’s a question for the FDA.