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The power of placebo effects in medical services.

uploaded date: 2022-04-02
posted by: Bonheur MUDAGIRI

The power of placebo effects in medical services.

Placebo: Is a medication which has no therapeutic effects but can be prescribed for psychological benefits to the patient rather than any physiological effect

. Placebo is used in clinical trials to test the effectiveness of treatments and is most often used in drug studies. These placebo may contain  inert and harmless substrate like vitamin C and sugars, that’s why they are called sugar pills.


Histological  background of placebo.

The word “placebo” is from Latin language and means “I shall please” and of course it does as shown in different researches done on it.

Placebo effects are antagonistic to nocebo effect, Nocebo means “I shall harm”

According to the experiment carried out in 2014 by using Maxalt medicine where the participants were asked to take a pill for six different migraine episodes ,these pills were labeled in variet ways throughout the study placebo ,Maxalt provided or either type (neutral),the participants were also asked to rate the pain intensity 30 minutes after taking a pill and after 2.5 hour later.

The results were as follow:

Those who took Maxalt showed more relief than placebo and those who took placebo had more relief than neutral marked drug. Even labeling mattered, for both Maxalt and placebo. The rating relieves ordered based on relief in both. By this experiment the pills labeled Maxalt were highest; neutral was in middle and was labeled as Maxalt.



I am amazed and astonished by the idea that something that as inert and harmless as sugar pills or vitamin C can relieve someone’s pain and improve their recovery just by expecting it.according to the research done by professor Ted  Kaptchuck  of Harvard –affiliated Beth Israel deacons medical center  said that  placebo may make you feel better but they will not cure you.

He also said that the effects are more psychological than physiological. He insisted that placebo is about creating a stronger connection between the brain and body and how they work together. People associates the routine of taking medicine as a positive healing effect, even if they know that what they are taking are placebo, the action itself can stimulate the brain to think that the body is healing. The level of attention you give can enhance the benefits.

Placebo is effective for some conditions such as pain management, stress-related insomnia and cancer treatment side effects such as fatigue and nausea.

However, even though placebo can help you to relief symptoms, they can’t cure disease. The health care providers should tell the patients that they are taking placebo and when they face the challenge after taking them and they have to come back to the hospital.


Even though we know the symptoms that placebo can relief, we still have some questions that we cannot answer as they have no scientific research approved as correct answers.

1.       Which symptoms that can be depressed by placebo? To what magnitude of the effect?

2.       What mechanisms that happens in our body when we take placebo?

3.       Is it ethical to use a placebo instead of a medication


written by Bonheur Mudagiri. 

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NIYIMPA Samuel: 👍 I liked this


kayitare1: i did not know that placebo works like that