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Survey: Doctors often prescribe placebos

January 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
It's called "the placebo effect" when someone who is sick gets better even though they've received something ineffective, like a sugar pill.Turns out the power of suggestion might be among the methods your doctor is using to treat you.

A survey of over 200 physicians in Chicago say they've recommended a placebo treatment to their patients. Amongst the placebos prescribed were vitamins, herbal treatments, and even antibiotics for infections that weren't caused by bacteria.

They say giving patients placebos sometimes calms them down, especially if they complain when there's no other treatment available.