Nocebo, now available without a prescription

New, from the makers of Maximum Strength Placebo, it's Nocebo, the product you will almost certainly regret."

Now for the first time, Nocebo is available for sale direct to the general public! Despite containing no active ingredients whatsoever, Nocebo can cause a wide range of undesirable effects, from nausea to diarrhea, that is because it's potency lies entirely inside the human brain! Nocebo merely suggests that it is bad for you, your brain and body does the rest!

Buy Nocebo, only £5.99 GBP!

Via Steve Silberman


  1. 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?

  2. 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. 

    1. 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.

      1. 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…?

    2. 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

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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..

  7. “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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.  

  10. 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!

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