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Thread: Placebo Effect

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    Talking Placebo Effect

    The placebo effect is where a person is given a fake drug or other and it works the same way as a regular drug or whatever.

    There was a instance of this in the TV show M.A.S.H.: one character was given sugar pills or something and was told it would cool his body down. He could walk around in sweaters and fur and not break a sweat in 90 degree heat while everyone else was basically dying. He was later told it was a fake, and he immediately broke into a sweat.

    Several studies and experiments have been done to see the effect of the placebo effect.

    Some doctors have been known to give placebos to patients who think they have an illness and want something to get rid of it with (usually older women past menopause).

    Have you ever been given a placebo? Or have you ever given a placebo to someone else?

    My professor told me of two 15 or 16 yr old boys who went into a bar. The bartender made the boys a mixed drink and went about his business while the boys took their drinks and went to play pool. My professor pulled the bartender aside and asked, "Won't you get in trouble giving those boys alcohol?"
    "No," said the bartender, "it isn't alcohol. We have a bottle under the table here that is filled with vinegar, pickle juice, water (and something else non-alcoholic that i cannot remember). We give it to them every friday and they think it is alcohol."
    A little while later someone motioned for my professor to come and look at the boys. They were giggling and laughing and falling all over themselves.

    It is funny how a mind thing can really do numbers on a person.

    So, again, have you ever given or taken a placebo?
    As far as I know, I have not.
    Last edited by Under a starless sky; 06-16-2008 at 09:44 AM.
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    If I have, I don't know it.

    I expect variations on that response to be legion.

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    I know it's an interesting effect. Your brain can also kill you. Hallucinations are dangerous? (Hallucinating fire or something. Body becomes really cold?? Or hot?)


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    It is somewhat similar to a snake bite? I have heard people live for days after being bitten by venomous snakes without knowing it. Once they find out, they die (either by realisation or a heart attack).

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    I don't think I've taken a placebo pill.

    And I know who you mean; Corporal Klinger.
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    My dad bought these kids driver's pop instead of beer, and I went to their party and everyone acted totally drunk.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Under a starless sky View Post
    There was a instance of this in the TV show M.A.S.H.: one character was given sugar pills or something and was told it would cool his body down. He could walk around in sweaters and fur and not break a sweat in 90 degree heat while everyone else was basically dying. He was later told it was a fake, and he immediately broke into a sweat.
    Citing a TV show as evidence is a bit ridiculous, though I know what you were trying to get at. The placebo is an interesting idea.


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    That is a tad similar to that story about that Doctor who gave elderly patients the wrong pills and medication on purpose just so that they would die. How pointless, evil and stupid.

    Don't worry though, the moron 'hanged' himself in prison.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amray View Post
    That is a tad similar to that story about that Doctor who gave elderly patients the wrong pills and medication on purpose just so that they would die. How pointless, evil and stupid.

    Don't worry though, the moron 'hanged' himself in prison.
    Not at all similar. Placebo effect is used to effectively treat psychosomatic symptoms, your story is about willfully murdering the elderly.
    Ehhh, I dunno if I'll stick around. We'll see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manhattan_Project_2000 View Post
    Not at all similar. Placebo effect is used to effectively treat psychosomatic symptoms, your story is about willfully murdering the elderly.
    Furthermore, the placebo effect is important in drug trials, where it's an important factor to test whether a drug actually has it's intended effect, or it's all in the head of the patient or experimenter. So they do double blind tests, where there are two groups of patients that are given real drugs and placebo respectively, and importantly neither the patient or the experimenter know whether they are given placebos or actual drugs, so there is no possibility for placebo effect or experimenter bias.
    Last edited by Eris; 06-16-2008 at 05:46 PM.



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    You wouldn't know if you were in the Placebo category in the trial anyway. It normally goes like this. 4 groups:

    Stamped drug
    Unstamped drug
    Stamped placebo
    Unstamped placebo.

    Sometimes people report relief [in pain medication] when they have the stamped placebo. The brain is pretty amazing you know.

  12. #12
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    So wouldn't Placebo then be a mental state of mind rather than a fake drug?
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    Being a drug user myself, I would have to say the 'placebo effect' is complete ludicrous.
    Last edited by Santa Clause : 25/12/1bc at 00:00 AM. Reason: I felt like it, you idiot.





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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgurd Ekoms View Post
    Being a drug user myself, I would have to say the 'placebo effect' is complete ludicrous.
    Well, when you become a scientist you can try to disprove the placebo effect all you want. Until then, we are going to stick with established medical fact, OK?
    Ehhh, I dunno if I'll stick around. We'll see.

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    I understand the purpose of the placebo, and support not only that but the surrounding double-blind tests. Make sense, and studies have shown the "placebo effect" to be valid (Ever been sick and felt relief immediately after taking medication for it? Yeah, in most cases it's not the medicine's effects you're feeling.)

    I know people volunteer to participate in these studies, but I can't help but feel a little put-off on behalf of those people who do have the condition the product is attempting to cure who receive the placebo. Effectively they are going without any real treatment for the course of the testing, placebo effect or not.

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    The point of a trial is to trial the drug's effectiveness and to find out any side effects that might occur. It is not an option that people apply to receive treatment. There is no guarantee that it will work and therefore I don't think it is wrong to the people who participate in the trial if they are in the placebo group.

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    I didn't say it was wrong, just that I pity the people who are not receiving any kind of "real" treatment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabala View Post
    I didn't say it was wrong, just that I pity the people who are not receiving any kind of "real" treatment.
    Aren't those people usually part of a test, though? They didn't sign up for "real" treatment.
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    They are. In some cases they're signing up because nothing else has worked for their ailment, and they're hoping for a breakthrough. It's those people, in their last ditch efforts to find new hope, that I pity for getting the placebo. Naturally they are going in aware they may be getting just that, as I think the placebo use is pretty common knowledge these days, but I can't help but pity them.

    Oh no, my compassion is showing >.>

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blasphemous Feind View Post
    So wouldn't Placebo then be a mental state of mind rather than a fake drug?
    Missed this.

    Yes. Placebo can mean sugar pills, but it can also mean any number of other tricks to convince people they are receiving medical treatment they are not. There exists such a thing as placebo surgery, for example. They do real surgeries on one group, and just cut the other group open and sew them back up so the patient believes he's had surgery.
    Ehhh, I dunno if I'll stick around. We'll see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    Furthermore, the placebo effect is important in drug trials, where it's an important factor to test whether a drug actually has it's intended effect, or it's all in the head of the patient or experimenter. So they do double blind tests, where there are two groups of patients that are given real drugs and placebo respectively, and importantly neither the patient or the experimenter know whether they are given placebos or actual drugs, so there is no possibility for placebo effect or experimenter bias.
    I had this in school... It was sooo boring...

    Did you people know that you learn 95% for nothing in school and you only going to use 5% you've learned? Other 95% will be forgotten over time.

    Besides you all got placebo's already when you were young. Your mom would kiss the wound or something and you would feel better. That's a placebo too. Another reason to believe them. You've experienced them when it obviously wouldn't help. But it did. ^_^
    Last edited by Dxon; 06-17-2008 at 02:09 AM.


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  22. #22
    There's nothing new Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dxon View Post
    I had this in school... It was sooo boring...

    Did you people know that you learn 95% for nothing in school and you only going to use 5% you've learned? Other 95% will be forgotten over time.
    Did you know that over 312% of people on the internet make up statistics 49.67% of the time?

    Besides you all got placebo's already when you were young. Your mom would kiss the wound or something and you would feel better. That's a placebo too. Another reason to believe them. You've experienced them when it obviously wouldn't help. But it did. ^_^
    A kiss isn't a strictly speaking a placebo, if anything it's faith medicine for toddlers. A placebo is fake real medicine as opposed to real fake medicine. Also, I personally was skeptical of the healing powers of motherly saliva even then.
    Ehhh, I dunno if I'll stick around. We'll see.

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  23. #23
    SES Member Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie has a reputation beyond repute Haoie's Avatar
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    It's extremely unlikely anyone here has.

    Unless they take regular medication or have been on a drug trial.
    If each mistake being made is a new one, then progress is being made.

  24. #24
    There's nothing new Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000 has a reputation beyond repute Manhattan_Project_2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haoie View Post
    It's extremely unlikely anyone here has.

    Unless they take regular medication or have been on a drug trial.
    If they have ever gone into a Doctors Office with a viral cold and received antibiotics, any relief they experienced is from the placebo effect. Antibiotics will do nothing for a cold, but the patient feels that because a doctor prescribed it, it must do SOMETHING.
    Ehhh, I dunno if I'll stick around. We'll see.

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  25. #25
    4: [Classified brah] Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dxon View Post
    I had this in school... It was sooo boring...

    Did you people know that you learn 95% for nothing in school and you only going to use 5% you've learned? Other 95% will be forgotten over time.
    That all depends on what you do with your life. If you waste you life packing fish in a factory, you're not going to need anything you learned in school. If you devote your life to personal intellectual advancement, you're going to need everything you learned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manhattan_Project_2000 View Post
    A kiss isn't a strictly speaking a placebo, if anything it's faith medicine for toddlers. A placebo is fake real medicine as opposed to real fake medicine. Also, I personally was skeptical of the healing powers of motherly saliva even then.
    They are the same in the sense that they're both suggestion.
    Last edited by Eris; 06-17-2008 at 11:21 AM.



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