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Word of Mouth
Mon October 1, 2012
The Placebo Effect's Evil Twin: The Nocebo Effect
If you break a 30-second drug commercial into parts, you’d hear about 7 seconds of why you should be taking a product, followed by a breathless lists of potential side effects and “ask your doctor today!” That list of potential side effects satisfy legal obligations, but doesn’t stop millions of people from making pharmaceuticals a multi-billion dollar business. Still, the mind is a powerful thing – and new research shows that informing patients about possible side-effects makes them more likely to experience them. It’s a phenomenon called “the nocebo effect”. Chris Berdik is a science journalist and author of the book Mind Over Mind – he wrote about the nocebo effect for the Ideas section of the Boston Globe, and joins us today.