Sunday, July 10, 2011

The negative placebo effect : Nocebo

Just read an article on Nocebo. The Nocebo is the negative placebo effect. This is when you get given a sugar pill, and you get told that this medication might have some side effects. You then go onto develop these side effects. Kind of like a bad placebo effect!

The article explains more about this, but what I find very disturbing is the story were a guy gets misdiagnosed with liver cancer. He then develops all the signs of liver cancer and dies. Upon autopsy he has no cancer and nothing is wrong with his liver!

From the selected studies in the article it seems that the nocebo runs at approximately 50% which is close to the placebo figure of approximately 60%. Maybe this is why people prefer herbal medications as they often have less side effects, so less likely to generate nocebo side effects.  

I also talked about the nocebo in this post

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