placebo

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

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 ?
There were 120 cases of cancer in those taking vitamins, compared to 139 in the placebo group, and 65 heart disease cases, against 57 among the dummy pill users.
Data was analysed from 175,000 people from 27 trials where statins had been used, compared to a dummy pill.
4 percent among 547 patients who received a dummy pill, or placebo, Leonard said.
But women who took 100mg of B6 daily had half the severity of PMS symptoms compared with those who were given a dummy pill as part of research to test its effectiveness.
One of the beta carotene studies, the Physicians' Health Study, involved 22,071 doctors who were randomly assigned to take 50 milligrams of beta carotene or a dummy pill every other day.
Doctors from as far back as the ancient Greek times have been aware of the power of the placebo - a dummy pill.
Along with a team from the University of Sydney in Australia, the researchers looked at data on 170,000 patients around the world who were given either statins or a dummy pill.
And if they do work, they're rarely more efficient than taking a placebo or dummy pill.
Two-thirds were also given the combination treatment (in one of two doses) and a third were given a placebo, or dummy pill, to take twice a day.
Regan showed that volunteers testing the dummy pill lost up to half a stone in six weeks, without such unpleasant side effects as are associated with the medicines available over the counter.
This happens in all studies, which is why a new drug must be shown to have more effect than a dummy pill before it's approved.
The patients have no idea whether they're taking the active drug or the dummy pill and, interestingly, patients report sideeffects regardless or which pill they're taking.