What is the Value of Placebo Pills?
Some say NOTHING WORKS BETTER !
I have just had so much fun reading about the quirky and fascinating placebo effect. “The Placebo Effect is one of the strangest and least understood phenomenons found in human physiology and psychology. Most of us know a thing or two about it, namely that we can essentially cure ourselves of maladies simply because we believe we are being cured of them. In other words we trick ourselves back into health, proving that the brain is an extremely powerful entity“(1). Here are some of the funny and informational things I read:
***Placebos help you play golf better, do more push ups, and even take away your cough.
***A placebo doesn’t require manipulation to work. In a recent Harvard study, a bottle with pills labeled PLACEBO worked just as well as the best medication.
***”Approximately half the drugs that fail in late stage trials fail because they simply can’t out-perform placebos”.
***People can get “placebo drunk” on non-alcoholic beer, complete with lower IQ and impaired judgement. There is a youtube video showing a frat party that served up an alcohol free keg. I didn’t watch it. You can link to it from the listverse link below.
***Another placebo effect is called “Nocebo”. This is funny~! People can also get the “side effects” of the thing that is being “placeboed”….. like irritable bowels or erectile dysfunction.
**Placebo effect also occurs with dogs, and other animals like lab mice.
***Some high profile studies are showing that placebos can be as effective as anti-depressants (probably more effective since anxiety is a side-effect of some anti-depressants).
***Placebo pill color matters: “Researchers have learned that yellow placebo pills are the most effective at treating depression while red pills cause the patient to be more alert and awake. Green pills help ease anxiety while white pills soothe stomach issues such as ulcers.”
***”Fake surgeries can be just as effective as the real thing, taking the placebo effect to the next level.”
***”The more placebo pills taken the better, with those taken four times a day more effective than those taken twice daily. Pills that have a “brand name” stamped on them also work better than pills that have nothing written on them. It appears that we humans are superficial even when it comes to the fake drugs we ingest.”
***We can’t (typically) will our way toward recovery, but need to take a pill. In essence, we need some sort of “external influence” to initiate the sequence of events that lead to the placebo effect.
FUN & FASCINATING Resources:
Placebo pills are for sale by the pound on amazon.com (hilarious reviews!). Knowing that they are available makes me feel so much better~! No more headaches, sore throats, flu, etc….. the whole family will now be healthy forever~! Another source of placebo pills, and more in depth placebo stats and facts: click here to go to placebo.com. These guys are goofing off, and making some money having a good laugh. Their motto: NOTHING WORKS BETTER ! I get a chuckle that they are going for it, packaging and selling placebos in a bottle labelled placebo~! Why not~!?
(1) Listverse.com (quoted above) has more crazy-fun in-depth placebo information. I like to keep my blog posts short because people are more apt to read short blog posts~! Link to listverse.com placebo list: 10 Crazy Facts About the Placebo Effect.
“There is a website, Placeboeffect.com, which holds itself up as ‘The Official Placebo Effect Resource‘ (whatever ‘official’ means in the world of placebos!) Here you can access classes, essays, an ebook and other resources on the phenomenon, though not placebos themselves.” (Roughly quoted from placebo.com.)