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A placebo is an inactive drug or fake treatment that is designed to appear real to the person taking it. Sometimes patients feel better just believing they are receiving treatment. Researchers often use placebos to study this phenomenon and understand the true effectiveness of active ingredients. Placebos show how much the mind can impact the body.

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1. What is a Placebo?

The term placebo generally refers to something that appears to be a real medical treatment but is not supposed to affect the patient's health. Although placebos may look like medicine, they do not contain an actual drug or active ingredient. Placebos are sometimes called "sugar pills," though they do not necessarily contain sugar. They contain various inert injectable or ingestible substances such as saline solutions. Placebos can also refer to therapeutic rituals.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.