December 12, 2005 |
Every day on the front lines of medicine, doctors quietly weigh treatments. They consider which ones might help patients and which ones might harm them. And sometimes, rightly or wrongly, which ones might simply please or appease them. I'm a pleaser at heart. My family and friends know it, and so do most of my patients. However, when I think about doctors dispensing prescriptions merely to please, I feel my gut wrench. I first witnessed placebo medicine in the 1970s. Back then, a few doctors at my university hospital treated patients with saline injections and little blue sugar pills.
July 6, 2010 |
Many people who suffer with lower back pain rely on glucosamine supplements for some relief. But does the stuff really work? A new study shows that glucosamine was no different from a placebo in treating lower back pain. The study, released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., was a large, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial that included 250 adults with chronic lower back pain. It was conducted at the Oslo University Outpatient Clinic in Norway. Chronic lower back pain plagues millions of people in the U.S., and treatments include physical therapy, medication and the use of glucosamine supplements.
January 24, 2012 |
Drinking three cups of black tea daily over months may help lower blood pressure, a study suggests. In a research paper released this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine , black tea was tested against a placebo to see whether drinking the beverage over time had any effect on lowering blood pressure in male and female test subjects, ages 35 to 75. The 95 study participants had systolic blood pressure readings ranging from 115 to...
April 3, 2008 |
Amgen Inc. said its experimental drug for osteoporosis boosted bone density among postmenopausal women in a clinical trial. The treatment, denosumab, was more effective than a placebo at increasing bone density in a study of 332 women, the Thousand Oaks-based company said.
February 13, 2011 |
Creatine supplements are extremely popular among amateur and pro athletes who believe the substance gives their muscles a boost. But a study finds that the supplements may also help women with knee osteoarthritis. The findings, published online recently in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, focused on postmenopausal women with knee osteoarthritis. For the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, some of the women took a creatine supplement for 12 weeks, while the others took a placebo.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 10, 1998
"FDA Approves 1st Large Testing of AIDS Vaccine" (June 4) overshadows, in my estimation, the primary elections. Even so, some questions come to mind. Trying to put myself in a testee's place, I find myself terrified by the very idea that I might have received a placebo instead of the vaccine. Is there not some scientifically valid methodology whereby all participants receive the vaccine and their AIDS rates are compared with those of nonparticipants drawn from the same general population?