placebo effect

Placebo effect: how it works?

We’ve all heard about placebo effect. Since there is more and more scientific evidence of how it works, let’s observe what’s most important.

Curious facts

It has a long story

Doctors have long given patients fake or useless pills. In 1955, an article suggested that a placebo has a real therapeutic effect in about 35% of cases.

Those who take real drugs also deal with placebo effect

Scientists say, there is a placebo effect for both the patient who receives a placebo and the one who receives a real drug.

The more expensive, the better

In a study, more expensive placebo pills worked better than its cheaper equivalent.

The latest news

A new study suggests that a placebo can have real physical benefits. The research was conducted at a public hospital in Lisbon, Portugal. The participants were patients with chronic lower back pain.

The researchers randomly divided them into two groups. One continued their usual treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The other one received both usual drugs and placebo pills, thinking they don’t have any real medication.

After three weeks, people in the first group experienced a 9% reduction in usual pain, a 16% reduction in maximum pain, and no reduction in disability. Meanwhile, patients from the second group experienced a 30% reduction in both usual and maximum pain, and a 29% reduction in disability.

Placebo effect: what the fuck is it?

No matter whether the response to an “empty” pill is positive or negative, it is the “placebo effect.”

Placebos, that do not contain an active substance effecting health, are commonly used for the needs of science. Researchers use them in studies in order to understand what effect a new drug might have on a particular condition, and to check for side effects.

One of the most common theories says that placebo effect occurs due to a person’s expectations. On the other hand, some studies show actual physical changes in patients taking placebo.

According to the studies, placebo pills work in such cases as depression, sleep disorders, pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and menopause.

And here’s an interesting article about placebo effect in cancer patients.

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