What’s in a sugar pill? Maybe more than you think
Even a placebo can work to reduce the intense, throbbing pain of a migraine headache–as long as the patient understands what he or she’s taking.
New research tested the effects of either a known migraine medication or a placebo on 66 patients who endured 450 migraine attacks.
Overall, the prescription drug was most effective at reducing pain.
However, even when patients knew they were taking a placebo, they still reported pain relief.
This suggests openly labeling medications as a placebo may have therapeutic effects.
More than 10 percent of adults get migraine, the World Health Organization says.