March #152 : The Word: Nocebo - by Laura Whitehorn

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March 2009


The Word: Nocebo

by Laura Whitehorn

No•ce•bo: A condition brought on by reading a long list of a medication’s possible side effects; suddenly experiencing some or all of them.

Derived from “placebo,” nocebo is also unleashed by the power of your mind. POZ asked Beverly Sha, MD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, how you can say no to nocebo:

“Anyone starting new meds should be aware of the possible side effects but understand that they actually do not happen to most people. In my experience, 80 percent of people don’t suffer side effects. Read the side-effect profile of aspirin, and you’ll be reminded to take these lists with a grain of salt.”

Search: side effects, medication, University Medical Center in Chicago


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