If you think you will get sick-you will...

Avatar for cmkarla
Administrator
Registered: 01-03-2001
If you think you will get sick-you will...
5
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 9:18am

According to this new study reported by Health Day News, Doctors may want to be careful when talking about potential side effects of drugs because people may develop the side effects just because they know about them. "Some patients will feel better after taking a medication even if the drug doesn't actually do anything to treat their condition. It's called the "placebo effect." But there's another side to the power of suggestion: Patients may develop symptoms and side effects purely because they've been told about them." Read More 

Should doctors tell you about all potential side effects? Have you ever been victim to the "nocebo" effect?

Karla
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2012
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 12:44pm

That's a loaded issue but I think some of it comes down to how well a doctor knows their patient in addition to how they relay information. My MIL, for instance, always seems to experience every side effect associated with any medication; it's like she monitors every twinge, fluctuation or palpitation, immediately assuming the worse.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 8:39pm
I soppose it is possible that knowing a symptom makes it more likely that you could think you have it. For example, the front of my right lower leg has been "numb" ever since an auto accident in 1968. I know this and live with it but lately, the nurse practioner has been testing me for diabetic symptoms in my feet ... And now I notice this numbness even more! If I didn't know better...

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 11:29am

I guess it does depend on the person - but I do tend to have side effects and I want to know what to watch out for. I am very allergic, and it isn't easy for me to take any meds. Most of the time, after reading the side effects, I chose not to - unless the benefits will out-weigh the risks involved. Often they do not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2009
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 2:45pm
I think it is a doctors job to make sure their patients are well informed about a drug and that includes explaining to them possible side effects. That does not mean making said patient paranoid. Doctors need to make it clear to patients how likely they are to experience a side effect and what they can do to minimize that possibility. They also need to explain why a drug is still necessary despite the side effects and if there are any other drugs available with different/similar/fewer/greater side effects that may treat the same issue.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2009
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 3:01pm

Unless I'm mistaken, doctors and pharmacists are *required* to warn patients of all possible side effects of medications, and I think that is as it should be. I completely disagree with the researcher who suggested we ought to consider withholding such potentially vital information.