Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Nocebo Expectations?

Some will remember the Andy Griffith Show where Emma Watson was taking her pill for her aches and pain.  The pharmacist, Ellie Walker, was conflicted about refilling her prescription with a placebo.  Emma simply could not live without her pill.  In a clinical trial some get a real drug and others get a placebo.  There can be a placebo effect on individuals taking the real drug.  This means that the placebo effect can be beneficial to the results for the real drug.  If you believe a medical treatment will have a positive effect then you are more likely to have that experience. 

The nocebo is just the opposite.  A harmless substance creates a negative effect.  If you are uncomfortable with a medical treatment, the inability to embrace it could be a problem.  What if a physician prescribes a statin drug for elevated cholesterol, which you do not want?  Every time you swallow you have a negative feeling.  The results can be about one’s expectations.


Stay well!

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