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Doctors in the USA prescribe placebo scripts -what do you think of this practice?

by Finy (follow)
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Doctor, prescribing,placebo,prescription
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Doctors in the U.S. and some in the U.K. regularly prescribe placebo prescriptions to their patients.

What do you think of this practise, as the patient obviously does not know about this?

#Placebo effect
#Placebo prescriptions
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I think it's eminently sensible. It saves money and placebos can be more effective that actual medicine, plus it means there is no risk of negative side effects. In the UK there is a big problem with patients demanding antibiotics for conditions that are not treatable with them, even threatening the doctors when they won't prescribe them. This means that often prescriptions ARE written for antibiotics when they are not necessary and this is contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistant germs, which is something that worries me enormously. Plus many people start taking the (unnecessary) drugs and don't finish the course, which does even more harm to them than taking the drugs in the first place. If a placebo prescription can prevent all of these, then I'm all for them!
I wonder if it would same money in the US given their shambles of a healthcare system. I need more information now, this is a fascinating subject.
by meggf
I've no idea how it works in America. I know that in the UK it would save money though, and the NHS is really really short of money.....
I was talking to my doctor the other day about how pills can have a placebo effect on me.

He told me that in America the doctors prescribe placebo to their patients.

I find this AWFUL as it is lying by pretending to give them something, and really giving them a sugar pill, or similar.

Even though it probably works in some cases, I think it is deceitful.
by Finy
I think it is very deceitful. I don't know a lot about it, what circumstances doctors might do this. I do know that I have sciatica or sciatica caused by spinal stenosis and I get extremely irritable when I am in pain. I wouldn't like any doctor to pull a stunt like that on me.
by fran.
I think where the doctor knows well that the patient will benefit from having a placebo because they do not really physically require any medicine,it could be a very good idea! Obviously any decent doctor would not prescribe placebos where actual medicine is required.
If the doctor feels the patient will benefit and is not putting the patient in harms way then why not?
I think it's very interesting! I'd need to know more about it to make my mind up I think.
but don't you think it is deceiving a patient?
by Finy
I think it is complete deception!
Will it help the patient?

I don't know a lot about it.....but it doesn't sit well with me, at all.

But! ''Then again Only in AMERICA'.
That was my thought "Only in America". I know they can't all be mad ....but ....
by lynne
by jonaja
I think it is very unprofessional and could probably lead to a lot of awkward legal action!
I think it is really deceitful. I think we need a lot more education around the overuse of medications and the consequences of that as we DO overuse a lot of medications and many people wonder in to the doctors already decided that they "need" antibiotics. I know heaps of mums who get upset if their doctor doesn't give their child an antibiotic (yet these same mums go around telling pregnant women to "listen to the doctor - he knows best!...Ironic?!). I think that educating them on the appropriate use of medications would do more good than giving them a placebo. If you give them a placebo, and it works, you end up with these people continuing to go back to the doctors for the medication time and time again...
If there is no harm to the patient, then I think it is ok. Yes, it's a bit deceitful, but that's the point, isn't it. Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of placebos. If I was sick and a placebo would do the trick to fix me up, then I would much rather my doctor deceive me than prescribe me medication.
by Vee
I'm on the fence with this one - on balance I agree with the practice of giving placebos. I do think that people are on way too many drugs
by AJ
I don't like it, think it is dishonest, the patient should know what they are getting....what if someone died...
by fran
A massive waste of the health care budget across the entire country and a personal cost to the fools involved.
They should advise on a good book to train the persons mind.
I think placebos are fine. I have worked in hospitals (I'm certainly no doctor) and have experienced a fair number of people who seem to be "needy" of a lot of attention from health professionals. They never seem to be free of complaints, and those same complaints can be frustratingly vague. I have also been "in on" a couple of informal conversations of this subject in the staff room where drs have complained of their time taken up by "hypochondriacs" who do have some "legitimate" health problems, but seem to want more("give an inch...); patients become offended when their dr "won't" agree with their "own diagnosis" (no matter how unqualified they themselves are). These drs have a hard enough time as it is, without the psychological equation muddying the waters. One comment has stayed with me - those who are so willing to deceive themselves are themselves more easily deceived by others. The more a dr knows their patient, the more confident they are in dealing with this issue. It is much better for them to have a placebo, than have them go off to "try out" that old wives tale or friends' recommendation. You can overdose on vitamins and supplements, and they can have bad effects when taken whilst on some medications, etc.
I have also heard of placebos being used as a screening effect; "Come back in two weeks to see how you're doing", can be beneficial for determining the reality of the problem. Of course drs are also aware that sometimes people just need someone to talk to. It's a shame that some people feel they have to pay for human contact.
many years ago a friend of mine whose father was a chemist told me that drs prescribed Placebo prescriptions, the patient would come in and say the medicine was marvelous and worked. I do not know if this happens nowadays (metropolitan area of sydney)
I would be OK with it for any I condition I was suffering (or that the doctor thought I was imagining) for may 2-3 days. If, however, I were to discover that I did actually have the condition, and that the doctor had decided that I was imagining things and allowed me to suffer for 2-3 days…..well then I would have to go to another doctor lest I end up on an assault charge.

they do it here as well. maybe not nowadays, do not know.
years ago a friend whose father was a chemist, told me about this, there are many people who imagine they have an illness and a placebo is the answer for people like this.
it happens in australia as well. many years ago a friens whose father was a chemist told me about it.
It is interesting because there is a phenomenon called the "white coat" effect. That is how the healing process starts just with the decision to go to the Doctor and you often find yourself feeling a little confused as to why you are waiting at the Doctors cause you are feeling so much better. The mind is a powerful thing, belief is also powerful. Maybe we are a little too quick to lean on chemical interventions rather than use the resources we have readily at our disposal? It is a great topic for debate/discussion and needs far more time/space than I have at my current disposal.
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