placebo

(redirected from Dummy drug)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Related to Dummy drug: Dummy Pill

placebo

(pləsē`bō), inert substance given instead of a potent drugdrugs,
substances used in medicine either externally or internally for curing, alleviating, or preventing a disease or deficiency. At the turn of the century only a few medically effective substances were widely used scientifically, among them ether, morphine, digitalis,
..... Click the link for more information.
. Placebo medications are sometimes prescribed when a drug is not really needed or when one would not be appropriate because they make patients feel well taken care of. Placebos are also used as controls in scientific studies on the effectiveness of drugs. So-called double blind experiments, where neither the doctor nor the patient knows whether the given medication is the experimental drug or the placebo, are often done to assure unbiased, statistically reliable results. A traditional placebo's lack of side effects, however, often identifies it, so an older drug is sometimes used in drug tests instead of or in addition to a placebo.

The "placebo effect" is an apparent improvement in health due not to any treatment but only to the patient's belief that he or she will improve (as by taking a dummy pill that is thought to be a cure). A report released in 2001, however, reviewed 114 studies where use of a placebo was compared to both treatment and no treatment and found no placebo effect with respect to measurable medical conditions, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Other reviews have found a placebo effect for pain treatments, and noted that how a placebo is administered can enhance the effect; a shot, for example, being more effective than an ointment and even more effective than a pill. An opposite, or "negative placebo effect," has been observed when patients believe their health will get worse.

placebo

[plä′chā·bō or plə′sē·bō]
(medicine)
A preparation, devoid of pharmacologic effect, given to patients for psychologic effect, or as a control in evaluating a medicinal believed to have a pharmacologic action.

placebo

1. Med an inactive substance or other sham form of therapy administered to a patient usually to compare its effects with those of a real drug or treatment, but sometimes for the psychological benefit to the patient through his believing he is receiving treatment
2. RC Church a traditional name for the vespers of the office for the dead
References in periodicals archive ?
Parkinson's disease sufferers experience the same benefit from an inactive dummy drug as they do from a real medicine.
After 19 months, about a quarter of the treated children had died, compared with more than 40% of those receiving the dummy drug.
It also led to a 7% reduction in deaths alone, compared with patients who were given a dummy drug in addition to aspirin.
About 7,600 patients were involved in the study, receiving either aspirin or a dummy drug on top of clopidogrel.
His study involved 30 acrophobic individuals, ten of whom were given a dummy drug while the rest received either a small or a standard dose of D-cycloserine.
After two years, the high-dose patients had one-third fewer exacerbations than those on the dummy drug.
Raste Khan, 23, has become the focus of nationwide media attention as one of two men to have been given a dummy drug in London trials which put six others in intensive care.
He said: "A placebo is a dummy drug that is made to look like the real drug and is used in medical trials as a control.
The latest study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), found that compared with a dummy drug, lumiracoxib increased the risk of heart attacks while ibuprofen was linked to the highest risk of stroke (more than treble.
People were split into two groups and given either a daily dose of 600mg aspirin or a dummy drug.
A total of 4% of children with asthma experienced worse asthmatic symptoms when taking the drug - the same proportion as in a group of asthmatic children taking a dummy drug.
Her researchers gave women 50mg licogen pills over a year and compared them with another group given a dummy drug, while a third group was given 100mg licogen pills.