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Medical advice...is Halo Oral Antiseptic spray effective?

questbestquestbest Registered User Posts: 529 Member
edited January 2013 in Parent Cafe
I just read an article about halo oral antiseptic spray which was created by a physician and promises to prevent whooping cough, colds, and flu when sprayed into the back of your throat every 6 hours.

It sounds promising but I would love to hear any medical advice about safety and effectiveness.
Post edited by questbest on

Replies to: Medical advice...is Halo Oral Antiseptic spray effective?

  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,513 Senior Member
    What? You're supposed to keep spraying the back of your throat every 6 hours? That sounds like a great way to use up a lot of spray but sounds crazy if you RELY upon it to PREVENT any serious health issue. Don't see any CLINICAL trials that support this other than the PR promo info spouted by the company.
  • nysmilenysmile Registered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    I would be concerned with the possibility of the spray being a bit toxic to the mucous membranes. I wouldn't use it.
  • questbestquestbest Registered User Posts: 529 Member
    It is being presented at 2 medical conferences and the ingredient used is well known and non toxic.
  • SteveMASteveMA Registered User Posts: 6,079 Senior Member
    Which medical conferences? What are the ingredients and and how is it effective both on bacterial and viral infections?
  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 Registered User Posts: 14,783 Senior Member
    It is being presented at 2 medical conferences

    I don't find that to be evidence of its safety or effectiveness.
    I too would want to see the results of clinical trials.

    I would never be able to keep up with a q 6hour regimen, though, so this would not be something I would every buy regardless.
  • LergnomLergnom Registered User Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
    All right. Here's what you do when you see something advertised for medical use: don't believe it. Just don't believe it.

    There is a reason we have the FDA: look through the history of medical marketing and you'll see it's rife with horrifically inaccurate claims of efficacy. People distrusted medicine because so much of it was not only ineffective but dangerous.

    So now we have these grey area "medicines" that also claim in many cases to be "dietary supplements" because those aren't regulated as drugs. A "medicine" is not regulated as a drug. "Medicine" is a word.

    Then dig into the materials. How many catch lines are repeated? Where are the ingredients listed? How are they described? In the case of Halo, the ingredients are buried in an FAQ entitled "Does Halo™ kill or affect the good bacteria in the mouth?" No listing anywhere says specifically this is what is in Halo. And here's a nice piece of gibberish from that FAQ:

    "More specifically, the active ingredient in Halo, Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), targets the cell membrane of microbes, and in order to reach the membrane, it needs to penetrate the cell wall, but not all cell membranes and walls are made the same. In other words, the cell membranes and walls of the good and bad bacteria in the mouth will react differently to an ingredient, or drug, trying to penetrate the microorganism. For this reason, CPC is able to target and kill the infectious, or bad, bacteria, while having minimal to no impact on the good."

    I have no idea what that actually says but I can see what it means to say: that Halo targets bad things and doesn't hurt good things.

    So look up the active ingredient. What is it? It's mouthwash. There are 125 (or more) OTC products listed containing this ingredient. They are mostly oral rinses, washes, lozenges and other products (including sprays). And what does it do: the data says it can "provide a small but significant additional benefit when compared with toothbrushing only or toothbrushing followed by a placebo rinse" in reducing plaque and gingivitis-inflammation".

    So you can pay a lot to buy mouthwash you spray in your throat. I found a great note in their materials that said it's been tested on flu virus ... but doesn't say it was effective. Note the wording: tested against is not the same as saying it tested well or was effective at all.

    So to the extent that oral hygiene helps you, then feel free to spray expensive mouthwash. But don't expect it to protect you from colds or noroviruses - which have a different wrapper that antiseptics in general don't affect - or the flu or other actual threats.

    Then read the material again. What does it say? Very carefully now you can see it refers to bacteria. Why? Because the active ingredient is used to fight bacterial infections in your mouth. Not viruses. So they're taking this idea and marketing the heck out of it because they have a product which uses approved ingredients that have 30 years of testing and known dosage limits so they can put it in a spray and carefully try to hide that it's just mouthwash.
  • jandjdadjandjdad Registered User Posts: 532 Member
    In addition, I look to see who is sponsoring the research. If it is the company that is manufacturing the product, I am more skeptical than if an independent researcher tested multiple products...
This discussion has been closed.