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Pre-existing Conditions, Placebo Reactions, and "Side Effects"

D. M. GREEN, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Ann Intern Med. 1964;60(2_Part_1):255-265. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-60-2-255
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

The purpose of these studies was to explore the possible relationship between pretreatment conditions and placebo reactions and the subsequent appearance of symptoms that could be regarded as drug side effects.

Since side effects tend to be the exception rather than the rule, the evidence for their existence is often circumstantial. As a consequence, symptoms or signs of the disease being treated, or of some unrelated condition or unfavorable reactions to the act of administering a medication, could represent sources of potential confusion.

That adverse effects may follow the giving of a presumed medication has been well-established through placebo studies




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