Feeling sick? You wouldn’t want to take fake medicine for an earache or major illness. But in some cases, the fake stuff can help.
Studies have long shown that fake medicines, or placebos, can produce the same healing effect as an active drug. This phenomenon is known as the placebo effect.
Placebos come in the form of sugar pills, fake creams or other substances. Medical researchers use placebos in experiments designed to test drugs. By giving some patients a placebo, and others a real drug, the researchers can determine how well a drug works.
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