O24 Fibromyalgia™ Pain Neutralizer
It contains seven botanical oils (camphor, rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, aloe vera, lemon, and orange) and is available as a spray or as oil-containing towelettes. The manufacturer is Swiss Medica, and they claim that O24 is the first product specifically for fibromyalgia pain, adding that it has been clinically tested and shown to be an effective and safe pain reliever. Marketers of this product state it was tested in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial with 153 fibromyalgia patients during a 4-6 week period. According to the authors of the study, “The group treated with O24 Fibromyalgia™ compared to placebo showed statistically significant improvement when measured on the Visual Analog Scale for pain.” In addition, the marketers claim: “Over 90% of Fibromyalgia Patients Reported Improvement.”
On the surface, it sounds fantastic, but if one uses the towelettes three times a day, as in the above cited study, the cost adds up to $3/day. However, price is not the only factor that should make you reconsider this product. Let’s look at the clinical trial of O24. The study was not published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, but you can read about it in the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of Practical Pain Management (it’s an ad-filled freebie for doctors) at http://www.024zone.com/assets/pdf/Ko_TopicalPainArticle.pdf. What you will notice is that the product claims do not measure up to the dismal data from the study. For example, the nighttime pain scores (the VAS) are not statistically significant between the controls and those using O24. Yet, they show a bar graph to make you think otherwise by amplifying the “before” and “after” values (it’s a deceptive tactic). The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) is a validated tool to assess treatment outcomes in fibromyalgia studies. There is absolutely no change in the FIQ with the use of O24. Yet, the authors of the study imply that the tender point count before and after the use of O24 is highly significant. Really? Before using O24, the patients’ average tender point count was 16.4, and after one month of using O24, the count was 16.2. This is a 1% change in tender points. Do you really think that you could even detect such a minuscule difference in your pain?
When companies exaggerate their data to entice people to buy their product, how can you trust them or those that endorse the remedy? Chances are, you can’t. One promoter of O24 tells potential buyers that the above mentioned clinical trial will soon appear in a peer-reviewed medical journal. So far, it is not listed on PubMed, but if this ever happens, Fibromyalgia Network will post an objective review of the study … but don’t hold your breath!