Have you ever wondered if the medicine being prescribed is really working as good as your doctor tells you or if it might just be in your head? Well according to a study done at The Departments of Internal Medicine and Adult Hospital Medicine, You might be correct. Doctors across the globe have been prescribing placebos for decades to treat patients – according to Traub, in The Science of Medicine Journal.
Now you may be asking, What is a Placebos Prescription? Placebos are drugs that are made to resemble medicine but do not actually contain an active drug. A placebo is made to look exactly like a real drug but is made of an inactive substance, such as a starch or sugar, essentially expensive candy.Placebos. Even there is no real active ingredients, some people who take a placebo feel better. The issue with Placebo Prescriptions is that it is falsely treating patients. This happens while manipulating patients psychological well being into thinking they are getting better from treatment without their knowing. Even though some patients show improvements Placebo drugs are an easy pass for doctors to possibly overlook serious underlying issues, and further delaying the treatment of possible mental health issues.
What is even more shocking to see is how often Placebo are used by doctors today.
WebMD claims 50% of doctor use placebos in their everyday practice. Study researcher Jon C. Tilburt, MD discusses his finding regarding the use of placebos by doctors during an interview with his did a poll of doctors giving examples and asking questions like:
- If a clinical trial showed a sugar pill was better than no treatment for fibromyalgia, would you recommend sugar pills to fibromyalgia patients? Yes, 58% of the doctors said.
- Do you ever actually recommend treatments primarily to enhance a patient’s expectations? Yes, 80% of the doctors said.
- In the last year, did you recommend a placebo treatment to a patient? Yes, 55% of the doctors said.
The result of this study is shocking nonetheless but placebos being used for treatment are not new. They have been around for decades actually. We can even look back and see Placebos used being used on the popular Andy Griffin Show in the 1960s on the Ellie Comes to Town episode.
In this episode Ellie walker was in town as the new pharmacist meanwhile, Sheriff Andy Taylor finds out that his friend Emma is feeling sick because she ran out of her pills that she takes everyday. When Emma request more pills form Elli Walker, she is told no because she doesn’t have a valid prescription. Without the pills Emma‘s physical symptoms continue to get worse. Emma’s symptoms get so bad that the whole town feels so bad for her that they end up forcing Ellie to give Emma her pills. Emma feels better immediately and returns to her normal self. Later in the episode it is revealed that the pills Emma had been taking all those years were nothing but sugar pills. So we can see that even in the 1960s comedic favorite, that although the purposeful use a placebos undermines emotional, spiritual, mental and physical levels this also treats the person as a whole mentally and physically.
The Placebo drug is done by the placebo effect. Although to many the use of the Placebo may be morally wrong there is scientific evidence that shows there’s more to these “sugar pills” than magic. Placebo Drugs works is by the belief in the power of treatment, which is often enough to make people feel better. Many brain imaging studies have confirmed that placebos cause measurable changes in neurological signaling pathways. The key to understanding the process understanding that the expectation of benefit associated with a placebo causes measurable changes in neurological signaling, that in result give pain relief.
For example if your having some knee pain and decide to purposely eat a sugar pill. You will feel no different afterwards. However, if you go to the doctors for your knee pain and the doctor prescribe you the same pill unknown to you. It can be expected that the pill will have a therapeutic benefit. This faith in the doctor activates reward pathways in the brain that releases this kind of substances called endorphins. Which are made naturally in our body yet somehow similar to opiates like morphine. Like morphine, these endorphins cause pain relief. Therefore, in response to belief and faith off Placebo drug , your brain becomes flooded with its own supply of natural painkillers. This was as reported in “More Than Just a Sugar Pill: Why the placebo effect is real,” 2016.
Although belief cannot cause underlying issues such as a broken bone or diabetes, to disappear, people who believe that they are actually being treated often show a reduction of Pain, nausea, weakness, and many other symptoms can diminish even if a pill contains no active ingredients and can be of no possible benefit, such as a sugar pill.
At this time you might be asking yourself well Of placebo Drugs are effective and help us to produce our own natural painkillers why are they so controversial! Placebo drugs are actually very risky and have much unwanted side effects. Like all medications real or fake they all come with side effects. The same mind controlling body power that helps heal many also harms twice as much. When patient. Those treated with nothing more than just a placebo often reported fatigue vomiting muscle weakness and memory disturbances. The same face of suggestion from doctors giving the treatment can also come into play with the side effects that may be placed on the label of the placebo.
So why does it matter? Some people argue that the only important thing is whether a treatment makes people feel better. It does not matter whether the treatment actually “works. This argument may be ok when simple aches and pains, which always go away on their own.Yet symptoms that seem small may be signs of a potentially serious disorder, important for doctors take each seriously to prescribe a treatment that really does work.
The ultimate goal is to create an happier healthier environment for patients even understandable the success rates for these prescriptions are relatively high but it diminishes patient’s “ right to know” and doctors essentially lying to patients and controlling their minds instead of going further into the issue. If a patients has issues that re serious ,mentally or physically.Prescribing a placebo is simply an easy pass to doctors to cover and temporarily fix the underlying issue. Further letting patients become ill. As of right the are no laws in place limit these fake drugs nor does it seem like there will be any soon. So only time tell future of Placebo Prescriptions. Until then use you power of belief to stay educated and informed instead of being mislead.