Placebos also help with conscious consumption

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Efficacy of dummy medication higher when patients are informed

Medications that do not contain any active ingredient - so-called "placebos" - can apparently actually work in some clinical pictures such as migraines or irritable bowel syndrome. However, the effectiveness increases significantly if the patients are informed that they are only receiving “dummy medicines”. Scientists from the medical school at Harvard University in Boston have now come to this conclusion. Accordingly, in addition to believing in the effectiveness, the process of taking the "medication" itself can promote the patient's recovery.

Placebos can relieve migraine symptoms Medicines without an effective drug? In some cases, what sounds strange may actually have a positive effect on the recovery of patients. As scientists at the medical faculty of Harvard University in Boston have now found out, the so-called "placebos" (Latin: "I will please"), for example, can apparently alleviate symptoms in the case of migraines - provided that those affected know that they are using a "dummy medication." " to get.

US researchers treat 66 people in 459 migraine attacks For their study, the research team led by neurologist Dr. Slavenka Kam-Hansen treated 66 people with migraines in a total of 459 migraine attacks. After a first attack without treatment, which served as a control, the patients received either a placebo or the migraine remedy "Maxalt" with 10 mg of the drug "Rizatriptan" in six further migraine attacks. When administered, the patients were informed about the respective agent in different ways - either they knew that they had received a placebo or a "real" medication, or they remained unclear.

Positive effect even when patients were informed As expected, the placebos actually showed up in the patients who assumed that they had taken a "real" medication. But there was also a positive effect for those who were aware of having received a placebo: “The effectiveness of the openly marked placebo was stronger than if no treatment had taken place. Compared to no treatment, the placebo - regardless of the extent to which patients had been informed - accounted for more than 50% of the medical effect. This positive effect persists even if the patients have been honestly informed about the placebo, ”said the scientists in the abstract of their study in the journal" Science Translational Medicine ".

"Ritual of taking pills is an important part of treatment"
For the researchers, the results support the thesis that apparently not only the belief in the effectiveness of a medication can alleviate the symptoms of migraine sufferers: "Regardless of whether medication or placebo is used for the therapy, the information is available to the patient and the ritual of taking pills is an important part of the treatment, ”the researchers continued.

Placebos also effective for irritable bowel syndrome Studies by scientists from the United States had also shown in recent years that so-called “irritable bowel syndrome” that openly communicated placebo administration could have a positive effect. For Ulrike Bingel, head of the pain clinic at the Department of Neurology at Essen University Hospital, this may be due to the experience that medication normally helps. Therefore, the ingestion itself would create a positive feeling, because this is a "learned, involuntary, reflective process", says Ulrike Bingel. (Nr)

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