23 February 2016

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Facts Explained What is Placebo Effect Placebo Medicine Pill

Facts Explained What is Placebo Effect Placebo Medicine Pill

Placebo is Latin for 'I will please', and refers to any medical treatment that is inert.
The word 'placebo', Latin for "I will please", dates back to a Latin translation of the Bible by St Jerome.
In 1811, Hooper’s Quincy’s Lexicon-Medicum defined placebo as "[any medicine] adapted more to please than to benefit the patient"

What is a Placebo?
A placebo is a substance or an intervention of some other type that is not known to affect the underlying problem; it's not known to relieve pain. It's usually an inert substance.
Example – Sugar Pill, Sugar Tablet

Definition Meaning of word Inert –
1- Having no pharmacologic or therapeutic action.

2- very slow to move or act
3- deficient in active properties; especially:  lacking a usual or anticipated chemical or biological action
4- lacking the power to move

A placebo is not real treatment, A Placebo is anything that seems to be Real medical treatment but it is not real treatment.
It could be a pill or shot or any other type of fake treatment.

Around one third of people who take placebos (believing them to be medication) will experience an end to their symptoms.
Belief in a treatment may be enough to change the course of a person's physical illness.

One of the most common theories is that the placebo effect is due to a person's expectations. If a person expects a pill to do something, then it's possible that the body's own chemistry can cause effects similar to what a medication might have caused.
The stronger the feeling, the more likely it is that a person will experience positive effects.

patients who are given empty injections or pills that they believe contain medicine can experience an improvement in a wide range of health conditions.
This kind of fake or empty medicine is often called a "placebo", and the improvement this causes is called the "placebo effect".

Researchers use placebos during studies to help them understand what effect a new drug or some other treatment might have on a particular condition.
some people in a study might be given a new drug and others would get a placebo that is fake medicine like sugar pill or tablet or shot but it may taste and look just like the new drug.
None of the people in the study will know if they got the real treatment or the placebo.

Researchers then compare the effects of the drug and the placebo on the people in the study. That way, they can determine the effectiveness of the new drug and check for side effects.

Sometimes a person can have a response to a placebo. The response can be positive or negative. For instance, the person's symptoms may improve. Or the person may have what appears to be side effects from the treatment. These responses are known as the "placebo effect."

Placebos are often used in clinical trials as an inactive control so that researchers can better evaluate the true overall effect of the experimental drug treatment under study. In these clinical trials, one subset of patients would receive the placebo and one group would receive the experimental drug, but neither group is aware of which treatment they have received. In addition, researchers in the study would not know which patients have received active or placebo treatments. These studies are called “double-blind” and “placebo-controlled” and are considered the gold standard for experimental drug research.

Conducting a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial helps to eliminate any bias that might occur due to knowledge of who receives which treatments. A patient or researcher would expect those who receive the active drug to have a better outcome than those who did not, and this knowledge can introduce bias into the study. Typically, an experimental drug treatment needs to be statistically more effective than the placebo to be considered as a valid drug treatment. Including a placebo group in a study is also beneficial in evaluating treatment side effects. However, many clinical trials, such as those in cancer research, do not include placebo groups because it would not be ethical to leave the patient’s cancer untreated. In these trials, the experimental drug may be compared to a treatment that is already FDA-approved instead of a placebo

There are some conditions in which a placebo can produce results even when people know they are taking a placebo. Studies show that placebos can have an effect on conditions such as –
1- Depression
3-Sleep disorders
4-Irritable bowel syndrome

A placebo doesn't have to be a pill. It can be any inert or 'dummy' treatment, such as special diets, exercise, physical therapy or even surgery.
The placebo effect is triggered by the person's belief in the treatment and their expectation of feeling better, rather than the specific form the placebo takes.

If a person's symptoms are relieved by taking an inert substance or undergoing a dummy procedure, it seems logical to assume that their illness must have been imaginary. This is not the case. Medical research has shown that psychological states play an important role in the development of disease. For example, stress is known to increase blood pressure, and chronic hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease. Just as the mind can contribute to a physical disorder, it can also contribute to its cure.

How Does the Placebo Effect Work?
Factors influencing the Placebo Effect or working of the fake medicine, dummy medicine on patients –

The appearance of the medicine - The characteristics of the placebo - if the pill looks genuine, the person taking it is more likely to believe that it contains medicine. Research shows that larger sized pills suggest a stronger dose than smaller pills, and taking two pills appears more potent than swallowing just one. Generally, injections have a more powerful effect than pills.

The patient’s belief - The person's attitude - if the person expects the treatment to work, the chances of a placebo effect are higher.
Some studies show that the placebo effect may still take place even if the person is doubtful of success.
The power of suggestion may be at work here.

Trust in Doctor, Family Doctor - Doctor-patient relationship - if the person trusts their health care practitioner or doctor, they are more likely to believe that the placebo will work.
Trust and belief in Doctor or medicine giver

Some diseases come and go automatically with or without placebos or drugs and end of symptoms is merely coincidence.
Example – common cold.

Reduced Tension or anxiety –
Taking the placebo and expecting to feel better reduces the levels of stress chemicals such as adrenaline.

Pain killers – Taking placebos may trigger the release of the body’s own natural painkillers, the brain chemicals neurotransmitters known as endorphins.
Some studies show that there are actual physical changes that occur with the placebo effect. For instance, some studies have documented an increase in the body's production of endorphins, one of the body's natural pain relievers.

Brain Imagination Power –
Research indicates that the brain responds to an imagined scene in much the same way as it responds to an actual visualized scene.
A placebo may help the brain to remember a time before the onset of symptoms, and then bring about physiological change. This theory is called 'remembered wellness'

Placebo medicine has even been shown to cause stomach ulcers to heal faster than they otherwise would.

These amazing results show that the placebo effect is real, and powerful. They mean that fake or placebo treatments can cause real improvements in health conditions.

Experiencing the placebo effect is not the same as being "tricked", or being foolish. The effect can happen to everyone, however intelligent, and whether they know about the placebo effect or not.

"nocebo effect" (Latin nocebo = "I will harm").
In this effect, giving an inert substance has negative consequences
The placebo effect is related to the perceptions and expectations of the patient; if the substance is viewed as helpful, it can heal, but, if it is viewed as harmful, it can cause negative effects, which is known as the nocebo effect.

Sources –

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tags – Facts Explain Placebo Effect Treatment 


JAMSHED AZMI February 23, 2016  

Very useful information here. Thanks for sharing.

rudraprayaga February 23, 2016  

Belief is everything.Thank you for the info.