If A Patient Knows It’s A Placebo Will The Benefits Still Work?
Placebos have been shown to help ease pain and other symptoms, but doctors can't ethically prescribe them to patients. Some scientists want to rescue placebos from the "garbage pail" of clinical practice.
Placebos Can Work Even If You Know They're Placebos
Placebos can't cure diseases, but research suggests that they seem to bring some people relief from subjective symptoms, such as pain, nausea, anxiety and fatigue. But there's a reason your doctor isn't giving you a sugar pill and telling you it's a new wonder drug. The thinking has been that you need to actually believe that you're taking a real drug in order to see any benefits. And a doctor intentionally deceiving a patient is an ethical no-no. (Hobson, 10/27)
The New York Times:
Sugar Pill Beats Two Drugs In Migraine Trial For Children
Neither of the two drugs used most frequently to prevent migraines in children is more effective than a sugar pill, according to a study published on Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers stopped the large trial early, saying the evidence was clear even though the drugs — the antidepressant amitriptyline and the epilepsy drug topiramate — had been shown to prevent migraines in adults. (Saint Louis, 10/27)