Posted: May 22nd, 2023

Have placebos been able to simulate same results

Placebos are used in medical research whereby a neutral agent is used against another active agent through administration to sick patients to test the efficacy of another often newly produced drug (Tuckera, Ruweac and Mastersad). Ethical questions have been raised on the use of placebos on sick patients when there are known treatments because placebo testing denies a needy patient the benefit of usual active treatment. However, the medical fraternity has agreed on the necessity of placebo controlled trials in antidepressant studies because they give the most accurate report on the efficacy of such drugs.

Nowadays, doctors are increasingly relying on new types of drugs that control the level of serotonin in the body to treat depression, sleeplessness, anxiety and personality problems (Tuckera et al). These drugs increase the level of serotonin in the brains and thereby manipulate the body to reduce depression; ideally placebo works in the same by triggering similar processes as we shall see. They work by increasing the level of serotonin neurotransmitter which is found in between cells by delaying its absorption back into pre synaptic cells; by slowing down the speed through which serotonin is taken away from pre-synaptic cells, the level of serotonin in the synaptic cleft is high and this facilitates the communication of impulses that are related to serotonin (Tuckera et al).

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They work in a manner that intends to correct the low levels of serotonin especially in the synapses since it is this reduction that causes depression; thus by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters through delay of its uptake they are able to facilitate increased level of serotonin within the body which increases good feelings (Tuckera et al). Currently the SSRI’s are the most prescribed antidepressants in the world and they include drugs such as citalopram, dapoxetine, flouxetine, and flouoxamine amongst others (Tuckera et al).

According to recent research studies, placebo has also been proved to achieve similar positive results just like SSRI’s does; a process described as the placebo effect but which has great implications regarding the process of serotonin production by the brains (Tuckera et al). Placebo effect is when patients perception of a particular drug causes positive results that are similar to what actual drug would cause to the same individual (Tuckera et al). In this case, the placebo effect were seen to occur when patients experienced reduced levels of depressions at almost same level with other patients taking actual drug moments after taking the placebo (Tuckera et al).

Nevertheless, many research studies indicate that the level of efficacy on patients using placebos is much reduced than what is experienced among patients using actual SSRI’s (Tuckera et al). This placebo effect is a known fact in medical studies and there is whole lot of reasons that are attributed to it. According to key research findings on this subject of psychopharmacology placeboes are more effective in treating stress disorders when the patient has not been informed on the true nature of the treatment (Tuckera et al). In fact, there are other isolated studies that have actually shown that placebo treatment compare exactly to actual treatments.

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