When 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”.