Taking Notice of the Nocebo Effect on Drug Therapy

Grace Sze York Chan


While the nocebo effect has been interpreted and classified in a number of different ways by researchers from all over the world, its existence has never been contested. Both the nocebo and placebo effects share similar triggers, but their physiological mechanisms differ significantly. Given the compelling cases that have been published in literature, we believe that the nocebo effect impacts patient care and drug therapies in important ways that should not be ignored. Studies have shown how it can affect common healthcare practices such as generic substitution and ADR reporting, and can be influenced itself by important aspects of healthcare such as clinician-patient interactions and patient autonomy. Based on this information, we assert that recognizing the nocebo effect can play a significant role in improving pharmacy practice, and we recommend that all pharmacists remain conscious of this phenomenon in their day-to-day patient care.




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nocebo, placebo, side-effect, drug, psychology


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