Word of Mouth
5:25 pm
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 Mindhe wrote about the nocebo effect for the Ideas section of the Boston Globe, and joins us today.

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