What is the nocebo effect?

If you want to translate the name, it means Latin for "I harm". The principle involves the opposite of the placebo effect. This means that the patient does not expect the positive, but - on the contrary - he fears the worst. So he is quite convinced that the drug of a drug could harm him. A typical example of a nocebo effect is z. As a fear triggered by the information in the leaflet.

What does the person affected?

When the nocebo effect is severe, the patient is often unwilling to take the prescribed medication as prescribed by the doctor. In the worst case, the compliance suffers so much that the affected person does not even take the medication. This can have serious consequences in certain cases. For example, in high blood pressure or heart disease. Here a possible non-taking can even end in death. Another way patients act is to engage in hectic activity and to gather whatever information they can find. The effort is in no relation to the cause.

Self-fulfilling Prophecy - Self-fulfilling prophecy

In anxious or very sensitive patients, the nocebo effect goes so far that they actually get discomfort. If, for example, patients are informed that a particular drug causes gastrointestinal complaints, then in some cases these symptoms actually set in.

What role does the effect play?

In the everyday life of doctors and clinics, the nocebo effect - in contrast to the placebo effect - does not play a major role. This is not surprising since it costs less energy and is healthier to generate a positive expectation than to reduce fears, to get sick by external influences.

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