Fatigue or fantasy?

An interesting study in Nature randomized 74 cancer survivors with fatigue to treatment as usual versus an open-placebo—as in the patients were told point-blank it was a placebo. All patients were counseled on the “power of placebo” prior to study initiation, and boy was that powerful counseling. The primary endpoint of reduction in fatigue at 21 days was significantly improved among those randomized to daily magic sugar pills. And there’s no magic sugar pill black box warning needed here, with zero reported adverse events. If you still don’t believe in the placebo effect, wake up.


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