Yes it is very powerful you can research that yourself. And no doctors can't legally give you a sugar pill. Doctors don't actually make the medication they get it from a supplier. So unless the doctor is ordering sugar pills (which looks shady) they are giving you exactly what they ordered from the supplier
>Depends on how powerful "they" say it is. I've read in studies placebo can be just as powerful as the actual drug being tested. I don't have any specific cases in mind, that's why I decided to make a thread here. Figured you guys could tell me a little bit about this topic, or at least point me to something trustworthy that could.
I should have clarified that I was thinking of doctors prescribing it for psychological problems. For example, as a treatment for depression.
>No because ethics Wouldn't rejecting a proven treatment with little to no side effects be even more unethical?
>>7646204 Because if you go to the doctors and pay thousands of dollars expecting life saving medication and you find out afterwards you were being given sugar pills that would make you upset. Placebos aren't 100% effective for everyone for any treatment. Yes they do sometimes perform as good/better than traditional drugs but this is still a fairly new area of science and we can't rely on placebos to solve a problem with efficiency
>>7646196 >If so, can doctors prescribe you sugar pills without telling you? Absolutely not.
>Is the placebo effect really as powerful as people claim it is? It's powerful enough that when testing new medicines, it needs to be considered. For example, since homeopathic medicines cannot show they perform better than the placebo effect, it's reasonable to say they do not work at all.
I see it is powerful in some scenarios. Like on cancer patients, their body works against it as much as it can but suddenly when the doctor gives you the bad news " you have caner ", you suddenly have more stress level than before, your body becomes weaker and it gets harder and harder everyday to fight it.. + they give you lots of strong chemical agents that fuck up everything even more.
Now I'm mostly pulling this out of my ass with no sources, but placebos are generally used to treat psychological disorders of sorts. Brain chemistry is amazing and the power of positive thinking and talk therapy isn't a meme. Im a neuro student so just trust me on this one, i have no sources right now, but look up HPA axis, SAM axis and SSRI's. Those are probably the biggest factors of mental illness. Literally just thinking positive makes you less stressed which in turn reduces cortisol and norepinphrine etc. This causes a whole cascade of effects through the body having to do with the immune systems functioning etc. Placebos essentially make you think you're getting better and cause your body to react differently. Look up that and maybe that'll help.
Also I'm tired so sorry for the meh tier explanation
>>7646211 >pay thousands of dollars expecting life saving medication
Again, of course in that context being prescribed placebo pills sounds absolutely ridiculous. But what about in far less serious situations, like someone suffering from chronic unexplained back pain that has been to several doctors and tried dozens of treatments with no success, or the person with depression who has found a medication that works but is in a continuous battle against powerful side-effects. These are the kinds of situations I would think placebo might be appropriate in. Why couldn't a placebo treatment be considered like any other treatment; weighing the pros and cons for the patient on a case by case basis.
>>7646221 meeee again Because actual treatment is the same as giving a placebo technically. This is just context of course, but in reference to the chronic back pain patient. If an actual medication was given to this patient and was told "alright you'll be better now!" And the patient still reports back pain and nothing worked, the placebo effect is gone now. Sure you can give them an actual placebo but you just ruled out the placebo effect after giving them a pill last treatment.
If you're going to use a placebo it has to be the first treatment otherwise you're not going to get the actual placebo effect. And ethically, a doctor should be attempting a known treatment before giving a placebo.
In that sense though I do see your point where, if there is no known treatment and literally nothing a doctor could do, a placebo could be of use. The only negative would be telling the patient after, "yea we actually had no idea what we were doing"
>>7646227 Yep sorry, I realized after I posted that that first example didn't make any sense.
>The only negative would be telling the patient after, "yea we actually had no idea what we were doing"
This raises some interesting questions I've also long thought about the placebo effect. For instance, can I induce it if I know I'm being treated with placebo? And, related to the statement you made, if I explain to a patient who has been or is being treated with placebo that they have been taking sugar pills, will the positive results fade away?
>>7646221 >Why couldn't a placebo treatment be considered like any other treatment; weighing the pros and cons for the patient on a case by case basis.
>can doctors prescribe you sugar pills without telling you? They can, but the laws around it depend upon where you are. But it's permitted in most places so long as there is no reasonable expectation of danger to the patient. If there's danger (it's part of a study to evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment, for example), then regular monitoring and re-evaluation is required.
A lot of people show up just looking for a pill, any pill, and prescribing something that won't cause any harm seems acceptable to me in that circumstance. Something like a quarter of the doctors in the USA do it each year.
If you're on a drug trial, then you have some chance of getting a placebo. Your doctor should tell you this, but even they won't know what you are getting. Often they'll do 6 weeks of placebo, then 6 weeks of real drug, or vice versa... something like that.
>>7646204 > just as powerful as the actual drug being tested There are measurable effects, but they're not identical to those of the real drug. I don't like the use of the word powerful in this context.
>>7646196 > Why couldn't a placebo treatment be considered like any other treatment; weighing the pros and cons for the patient on a case by case basis. Yes, that's exactly what happens.
>>7646232 No. I can't remember what study proved this, but giving a patient a placebo and telling them it's just a placebo will still have more of a positive effect on curing and all that than if you simply gave them nothing (The control). It's not as powerful as if they didn't know it was a placebo, but it's not nothing either.
>>7646232 See now those are great questions. Are you in Uni? That's a great 4th year honours project right there where you could find the results yourself. I'm sure you have, but you could always Google around and find out because I'm not entirely sure. I have to do my honours project in 4th year and that sounds like a great project.
Part 1. Tell patients they will be getting a placebo and record results vs patients with actual treatment. I would say good luck getting permission by the university ethics wise but you could always tone it down a bit. Maybe find students on campus who would like to participate and tell them all you're giving them a "study aid pill" or something like that. Then afterwards tell half the participants "yea I was lying this a placebo I want you to take so I can compare results". Observe results.
Part 2. Tell the placebo patients that they were being given a placebo the whole time. But to continue taking the pill because it seems to be working and you're not sure why. (Try and keep them enthusiastic about it). Record results and compare
>>7646244 I think a key point would be to explain to the placebo patients, only when they know they're receiving a placebo, that the body will think you're taking drugs even though you're consciously aware its not a drug. This might help eliminate any complete demoralization in the placebo
>>7646283 >happens to read a study that happens to be relevant to a thread on 4chan >knows more in that field than people studying it
>also, implying I study psychology
Give a bunch of university students a first year kinematics test. Unless you score perfect, mistakes happen, someone is bound to score better than you. That student is more knowledgeable in physics than you
>>7646196 >Is the placebo effect really as powerful as people claim it is? It's very powerful, if that's what you mean. It wont ever cure things like a broken leg obviously but it can give a significant boost to your immune system, so especially good for infectious diseases.
>If so, can doctors prescribe you sugar pills without telling you? No, that's unethical. Unless you've specifically given your consent to be in a blind trial and you know taking the pills is part of the trial.
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