Nocebo, now available without a prescription


25 Responses to “Nocebo, now available without a prescription”

  1. awjt says:

    I feel better just looking at it.

  2. Nylund says:

    Everyone knows that drinking too much water can actually kill you.  Given that, is it really fair to say that any negative effect from something with no active ingredients is really just all in your head?

  3. Christopher says:

    Thank goodness. My prescription was just about to run out. 

  4. Soopercali says:

    Could we acknowledge that the vast majority of pharmaceuticals only have the promised results for roughly 30% of users (as the president of GSK once told a reporter)? There are enough placebo effects out there to call into question the “science” behind most prescription drugs. 

    • awjt says:

      You know what’s even weirder?  It’s been proven in trials that Placebo effect works JUST AS WELL when the person even KNOWS it’s placebo.  Can you freakin believe that?  We are strange creatures.

      • hungryjoe says:

        But just so we’re clear, the “Placebo Effect” describes a patient’s perception that his/her SYMPTOMS are diminished.  It does not describe an actual effective clinical treatment.

        What we’re missing in all this discussion of the amazing placebo effect is a study where placebo effect is compared with no treatment at all…Oh wait, here is that thing:

         And for those who can’t be bothered to click, here’s the conclusion of that study:

        “There was no evidence that placebo interventions in general have clinically important effects. A possible moderate effect on subjective continuous outcomes, especially pain, could not be clearly distinguished from bias.”

        But obviously Big Pharma must have influenced this study…?

    • Only if we also acknowledge that medicine is a process and not a product.   Any trained physician (as opposed to people who just read WebMD) will know that different people respond differently to different pharmaceuticals.  Properly administered, different pharmaceuticals will be tried in conjunctions with tests to find what actually works with a given patient’s body. 

      Science.  It works.
      “By definition, alternative Medicine has either not been proved to work, or been proved not to work.  do you know what they call “alternative medicine” That’s been proved to work?  Medicine.” – Tim Minchin

  5. sweetcraspy says:

    I absolutely love the “NON-CORROSIVE” label.  “Drip it on the table, no problem!  Drip it on your hand, you’re fine!”

  6. At last, the logic of homeopathy reaches its omega point.

  7. blearghhh says:

    My son often asks for Medicine when he doesn’t want to go to bed and complains of various ailments to support that request.

    I regularly give him what he calls bear medicine because of the bear on the bottle, which is some Boiron Homeopathic stuff that my wife got years ago, active ingredient: happiness and sunshine. Anyway, there’s no issue giving it to him, because it’s just water with some honey in it, and it makes him go to bed. Also, when it’s done, I can just re-fill it with stuff that’s just as effective. I may do some special stuff for when he’s super sick which includes food colouring.

    So, yay placebo effect

  8. Boundegar says:

    Ah, but can it be cooked into meth?  I think not!

  9. Christopher says:

    As good as Nocebo may be it will still never replace my Aunt Ethel’s cough medicine. Active ingredients: honey, lemon juice, and a little Jack Daniel’s whiskey.

    When my mother started giving it to me I started trying to get sore throats on purpose.

  10. Roy Trumbull says:

    In the world of homeopathic meds this might be an overdose. Let’s get our Boing Boing brains working on some more placebo names. I’ll start with Foolium..

  11. DewiMorgan says:

    “Food coloring” – it’s purple.
    Most likely Red 40 and some kind of blue.
    If so, I’ve friends who would most likely legitimately react to it.

  12. Kimmo says:

    Looks like a good birthday present for my boss.

  13. chris jimson says:

    I would really like to see the outcome of a court case where someone claims to have been harmed by Nocebo: it purports to be harmful but also points out the harm is psychologically self-inflicted, so how does a judge rule there?

  14. CRX says:

    I was given a prescription for Cebocap’s for pain by my Dr in the 80′s. He told me the med  used the power of the body to heal itself.  When the pharmacist told me the medications name it all came clear, my doctor was a complete fraud.  Within a week I was hospitalized for a pancreatic pseudo-cyst,  I couldn’t use the power of the human body to heal that.  

  15. I’m not trying to be a grammar-dick, but is it an intentional irony that the producers are “Spelling Mistakes Cost Lives” and their product blurb contains an error?

    it’s potency lies entirely inside the human brain!”

    I checked out the website,, and there’s a lot of giggle-worthy material there, like his most recent stunt: adverts for the “Paranormalympic Games”. Hee!

  16. alex4point0 says:

    I’m reminded of Stay Free!’s Panexa ad, mirrored here. (oh, they guest edited BB once! small world!)

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