The Anti-Placebo

AKA the nocebo effect.

Poor expectations of treatment can override all the effect of a potent pain-relieving drug, a brain imaging study at Oxford University has shown.

In contrast, positive expectations of treatment doubled the natural physiological or biochemical effect of the opioid drug among the healthy volunteers in the study.

The study of the placebo effect — and its opposite the nocebo effect — is published in Science Translational Medicine. The findings suggest that doctors may need to consider dealing with patients’ beliefs about the effectiveness of any treatment, as well as determining which drug might be the best for that patient.

Placebo effect works both ways: Beliefs about pain levels appear to override effects of potent pain-relieving drug

“For there is nothing good nor bad

But thinking makes it so.”

–Hamlet

 

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