[eli5:] Can a placebo instantly make someone well or are placebos always a process in which, for example, a person takes placebo pills and only overtime becomes well?

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[eli5:] Can a placebo instantly make someone well or are placebos always a process in which, for example, a person takes placebo pills and only overtime becomes well?

In: Biology

A placebo works only on your mind…it’ll do was you think it’s going to do, it can’t actually cure anything but sometimes getting your brain to think it’s felling better goes a very long way in actually getting well

A placebo has zero efficacy. Sot the premise of this question has flaws. Placebo is used not for its efficacy in studies it is used as a baseline zero to measure the efficacy of active chemicals.

Well, it’s not going to actually make a person well – just improve their perception of their symptoms and prognosis, during which time the illness could resolve on its own if it’s minor and short-lasting. The time it takes to start doing that depends on both the severity of the condition being treated and how long the patient receiving the placebo expects it will take for the “treatment” to start working. If a condition has severe symptoms it may be impossible to get any kind or placebo effect.

Your mind is a very powerful thing. You can interpret pain, nausea, anxiety, and other things way differently than someone else does, and the act of taking a pill gives you this sense of effort thats being made toward treatment. You start to look for positives/results, and you find them, or perhaps you feel calmer because you’ve gotten “help”.

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placebo pills can’t “fix” anything. But your outlook on any conditions/symptoms you have can be radically changed and that has a profound effect on your overall qualify of life.

It depends on what you are treating and what the form of placebo is. If you have a mild headache and someone gives you a sugar pill but says it’s Tylenol there’s a chance it will work about as immediately as Tylenol.

But it’s unlikely placebo will have any effect on something major if you try to tell them one little pill can solve it.

Likewise studies have found certain colors of pills nor effective for certain things because people think they ‘fit better’ (blue sleeping pills, for instance), bigger pills work better, and fake injections best of all.

Of course in all cases it’s not really a treatment, though it may feel like one.