What’s in a sugar pill? Maybe more than you think

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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.