Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

Search Symptoms

Category: Cardiology | Dermatology | Endocrinology | Family Medicine | Geriatrics | Gastroenterology | Gynecology | Infections | AIDS | Internal Medicine | Allergy | Critical Care | Emergency Medicine | Nephrology | Neurology | Nursing | Oncology | Ophthalmology | Orthopedics | ENT | Pathology | Pediatrics | Pharmacy | Psychiatry | Pulmonology | Radiology | Rheumatology | Surgery | Anesthesiology & Pain | Urology | Journal

Back to Journal Articles

Stronger Nocebo Effect When Inert Rx Labeled As Expensive

Last Updated: October 06, 2017.

Nocebo hyperalgesia is stronger when an inert treatment is labeled as being an expensive medication rather than a cheap one, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in Science.

FRIDAY, Oct. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Nocebo hyperalgesia is stronger when an inert treatment is labeled as being an expensive medication rather than a cheap one, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in Science.

Alexandra Tinnermann, from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, and colleagues examined the impact of value information about a drug, such as the price tag, on its therapeutic effect. Forty-nine healthy people were given a treatment they were told was an anti-itch cream, but it actually contained no active ingredients. They were randomized to either a group that was told the cream was cheap or a group told it was expensive. A functional magnetic resonance imaging method was used for simultaneous activity measurements in the central pain system.

The researchers found that nocebo hyperalgesia was stronger when the treatment was labeled as an expensive medication versus a cheap medication. Neural interactions between the cortex, brainstem, and spinal cord mediated this effect. Prefrontal cortex activity, in particular, mediated the effect of value on nocebo hyperalgesia.

"Value furthermore modulated coupling between prefrontal areas, brainstem, and spinal cord, which might represent a flexible mechanism through which higher-cognitive representations, such as value, can modulate early pain processing," the authors write.

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)


Previous: No Change in Flu Shot Rates for Children From ‘15-16 to ‘16-17 Next: Electrolyte Issues With Chronic Alcohol Use Span Social Spectrum

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.


Submit your opinion: