2010-12-22 Placebos help, even when patients know about them


Placebos can help patients feel better, even if they are fully aware they are taking a sugar pill, researchers reported on Wednesday on an unusual experiment aimed to better understand the "placebo effect."



Nearly 60 percent of patients with irritable bowel syndrome reported they felt better after knowingly taking placebos twice a day, compared to 35 percent of patients who did not get any new treatment, they report in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.

"Not only did we make it absolutely clear that these pills had no active ingredient and were made from inert substances, but we actually had 'placebo' printed on the bottle," Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who led the study, said in a statement.(Read entire article)

2010-12-22 Secrecy May Be Unnecessary for Placebo Effect

IBS Patients Cite Benefits After Knowingly Taking Dummy Pill



Patients with irritable bowel syndrome felt better after knowingly taking a placebo, suggesting that the secrecy of giving patients “dummy pills” may not be necessary, Harvard researchers report.

In a trial involving 80 patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), investigators from Harvard Medical School’s Osher Research Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found that the so-called "placebo effect" may be more than just thinking that you’re taking a real drug.(Read entire article)