In several recent studies, placebos have performed as well as drugs that Americans spend millions on. In most cases, the larger the pill, the stronger the placebo effect. Two pills are better than one, and brand-name pills trump generics. Capsules are generally more effective than pills, and injections produce a more pronounced effect than either. Colored pills are more likely to relieve pain than white pills; blue pills help people sleep better than red pills. A new institute at Harvard is exploring the idea that placebos might be deployed as medicine in clinical practice.
—"The power of nothing," Dec. 12 New Yorker
MEDICATION: Pretendia (pre-TEN-di-a) 500MG tablets
DIRECTIONS: Take 2 tablets by mouth twice daily, or any number whenever.
COMMON USES: This medicine is a placebo used to treat arthritis, tendinitis, tinnitus, lethargy, depression, hypertension, and insomnia. There is no medicine in this medicine, but it WORKS ANYWAY.
BEFORE USING THIS MEDICINE: Be in the PROPER FRAME OF MIND when you take this medicine. Tell yourself, "This medicine is going to help me." This medicine does not put you at a greater risk of anything unless you think it does. DON'T THINK THAT WAY. Inform your doctor if you are taking Pseudofix, Shamox, Suggestozol, Deludezine, or any other placebo. Pretendia is MUCH BETTER, trust us. You may drink alcoholic beverages while taking this medicine. When this medicine is taken with too much vodka, it may result in dizziness, headache, and cotton mouth. TELL YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU DRINK ALCOHOL, especially if you know a good place to buy Bordeaux.
HOW TO USE THIS MEDICINE: Store this medicine at room temperature, below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container, away from heat, moisture, and light, or just leave a few tablets on the bathroom counter. Continue to take this medicine even if you feel better. If you stop taking this medicine YOU WILL STOP FEELING BETTER. If you do not feel better after taking this medicine TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR. You may need a larger Pretendia.
CAUTIONS: If you have diabetes TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR. You may need the sugar-free Pretendia. Otherwise, if you develop a severe rash or hives while taking this medicine SEE A PSYCHIATRIST. There is nothing to be allergic to, so this would be psychosomatic. Also TALK WITH YOUR PHARMACIST, who can switch you to the orange Pretendia.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: This medicine will make you drowsy if you want it to. YOUR EYES ARE GETTING HEAVY. If you experience black, tarry stools, you may need new furniture. CONTACT A FURNITURE DEALER IMMEDIATELY.
OVERDOSE: You will not overdose even if you TAKE THE WHOLE BOTTLE.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Do not tell anyone you are taking this medicine. They may say something that will RUIN ITS EFFECTS. Avoid contact with skeptics. This medicine is beneficial but it is NOT A WONDER DRUG. If you take it while WATCHING A REPUBLICAN DEBATE you will still experience depression, hypertension, and insomnia.