Drug Side Effects — placebo and nocebo

goodpillbadpillWhen you question  people given a placebo (containing no medication) 25% will feel better (placebo effect) and 45% will think they have a side-effect (nocebo effect).  The remaining 30% notice nothing.  What a delema for doctors!  Some people feel better without  medication, some feel worse with medication and some don’t think the medication is working either way!

The answer is not to over-think the problem.  Patient’s should become informed about the medications they take — know the top 3 side effects.  And, if something definitely unusual (and bothersome) happens shortly after taking a new medication run down the side-effect list and check with your health care provider.  If a side effect you have is really on the list a response from the health care provider:  “I’ve never seen that” is just not helpful.

Many medications have side effects that people just must live with.  Like strong blood pressure medications that cause a slight dizziness on standing.  Or an anti-allergy medication that causes a dry mouth.  Some people expect to feel better with blood pressure medication — not so — a lower blood pressure is the desired effect, not any “feeling”.

, , ,

%d bloggers like this: