Basically we make up side effects, the same way placebos give made up benefits
Interesting, I read this earlier.
I have always had a suspicion that at least 50% of certain drugs effects are psychological, makes sense that this would also be true with side effects.
there’s been suspicion about this for years but nice to see some clinical evidence that it’s for real. I take a statin - albeit at a very low level - but haven’t seen any of the side effects attributed to them, but then I have no issue taking it so maybe I wouldn’t.
It’s amazing what our minds can do.
It is, but jesus it’s making objective reality hard to prove!
I’d go as far to say it’s been “proven” for many many years, both in terms of things we just know from centuries of observation but also has gone through trials and scientific method.
If anything I reckon the concept of a nocebo is a lot more intuitive than placebo. It’s easy to understand how you can perceive something as negative or feel a side effect given how much of sensory perception is in the brain rather than in peripheral tissues (eg how many chronic pain sufferers there are).
It’s therefore not a small stretch to see how people ‘feel’ better after a sugar pill. It’s a harder thing to explain physiological changes such as cholesterol reductions from placebo.
Added: it’s not the concept of a nocebo that’s made BBC news - it’s the self-fulfillment of the statin nocebo. They’re widely talked about as having side effects, which makes them relevant news especially given their prevalence of use. The more the news can provide a controversial edge, especially alongside other debates around fat and cholesterol the more they’ll be talked about.