Migraine Pain Pills Only As Good As You Think

Migraine sufferer.  Pic courtesy of epharmmd.blogspot.com

Migraine sufferer. Pic courtesy of epharmmd.blogspot.com

Do you suffer from migraine headaches?  There are millions of people who do, and a lot of drugs are taken to stop the terrible pain of head wrenching migraines.  A new study suggests that the effectiveness of these drugs has a lot to do with how effective you think they will be.  In other words the drugs you take might only be as good as you think.

Researchers gave 66 migraine sufferers a set of pills, some in envelopes labeled “Maxalt,” a common migraine medicine, and others in envelopes labeled “placebo.” The catch: Sometimes the “Maxalt” packets contained placebos, and vice-versa. Participants wound up reporting drastically better results when taking Maxalt out of the Maxalt packages than when the drug came out of the placebo packets, WebMD reports.

While the study showed that the drug was effective, “the placebo effect accounted for at least 50% of the subjects’ overall pain relief,” lead author Ted Kaptchuk said. People taking the placebo, believing it was real, got almost as much relief as those taking real drugs, but believing they were fake. Strangely, even taking a placebo that was labeled as such brought patients some relief. Kaptchuk speculates that simply taking pills triggers a healing subconscious memory, the AP reports.

Thanks to Newser for story contributions.

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Posted by on January 9, 2014. Filed under NEWS I FIND INTERESTING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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2 Responses to Migraine Pain Pills Only As Good As You Think

  1. Diane Lee

    January 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve suffered from migraine headaches all my life, and nothing helps no matter how much you believe it will.

  2. Bill Formby

    January 9, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Wow! All that effort to show that psychosomatic healing can occur. Someone should tell them that we have known that for a long time.