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Doctor insights on: Placebo

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Placebo (Overview)

Placebos are generally medications and sometimes physical or psychological substitutes which in themselves have no known effect but which cause the patient to feel as if they are getting some effect. They depend upon patient expectations and the fact that there is a strong psychological component to many physical/health problems.


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How does the placebo effect works?

How does the placebo effect works?

Psychological: Some of my patients get better simply when handed the prescription! the power of "belief" is absolutely mind-boggling. Recognizing that "the secret" involves "intention" can really empower you and enable you to overcome all manner of resistances, insecurities, and vulnerabilities. The mind is an amazing instrument! ...Read more

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Placebo (Overview)

Placebos are generally medications and sometimes physical or psychological substitutes which in themselves have no known effect but which cause the patient to feel as if they are getting some effect. They depend upon patient expectations and the fact that there is a strong psychological component to many physical/health problems.


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What is the point of placebos in drug trials?

What is the point of placebos in drug trials?

Rare today: When we were discovering medications for previously-untreatable illnesses, we needed to compare the results in the treatment group with results in people who were not getting the medicine. The natural history of the illness in the population ; the psychologic effect of taking rx are studied in this way to avoid self-deception. Today, a new drug is compared to standard rx (clinical equipoise). ...Read more

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Can i start taking my placebo pills a week early?

Yes you can.: If you take the placebo pills early it may make your cycle irregular. It may take a month or two to regulate. Make sure that you use a backup method for contraception until your cycle returns to normal. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: placebo?

Inactive substitute: Placebos are generally medications and sometimes physical or psychological substitutes which in themselves have no known effect but which cause the patient to feel as if they are getting some effect. They depend upon patient expectations and the fact that there is a strong psychological component to many physical/health problems. ...Read more

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What's a good way to check if my pill is a placebo?

Not possible: You have to rely on the packaging or the integrity of the prescriber. Placebos can be very useful but not if the recipient is told its a placebo. Unless you have access to a commercial chemical analysis laboratory, you cannot tell from looking at the pills you have. ...Read more

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How come we test new drugs against nothing (placebo)?

No longer the case: Today's drug trials actually compare the proposed medication against standard treatment ("clinical equipoise"). Anyone who tells you otherwise is living the 1950's. ...Read more

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What is a good way to determine if you are taking a placebo?

Placebo: Perhaps if the condition being studied does not improve. However, you may never know the difference because there is a proven placebo effect, this is where the placebo, actually works as well as the other medication being studied. ...Read more

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The placebo pills work the same as the "active" pills? You still protected?

Placebo pills: The placebo pills in a cycle of oral contraceptives are inactive. They are placed in the package to help you remember to take a pill every day of your cycle. If you take the active pills correctly at the same time every day, you are protected against pregnancy. It does not matter if you take the placebos or not. ...Read more

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Is it possible that the placebo effect be used to create a new class of drugs?

I don't think so: because placebos are placebos. There are ethical considerations when giving an unknowing patient a placebo. ...Read more

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How is it proven that cool scultiping really work and not just the placebo effect?

Cryolipolysis: This is not yet mainstream. The idea is that if fat beneath the skin is frozen, it will tend not to accumulate there in the future. It's done specifically to remove love handles or bumps in particular places. The fda permission doesn't mean it works. You'd do better to diet and exercise. ...Read more