Placebo and half life


I am confused. What does “placebo” and “half life” mean when it comes to medications?

I need clarification. I understand “half life” means the time taken for it to get out of your body system. Does this mean the effect of the drug will last for that long until its out of the body system completely?

I also need clarification on what does plain “placebo” mean and the difference between “placebo” and “placebo effect”?

I know they sound like stupid questions but I am not from a strong english speaking background so will appreciate your help


Thank you sovertigo

To my knowledge, a placebo is something that looks like a medication but that doesn’t contain any medication in it. they use that in studies; they will give one group the medication and the other group let’s say a pill that only contains sugar or other non-medication ingredients. Then they can compare if the side effects and good effects the participants are getting are different or not. If 20 % of the group with the medication gets headaches and only 1 % of the group who got the placebo gets them, then headaches would probably be considered a side effect of the medication.

Placebo effect is when you feel something as a side effect which is your mind tricking you into thinking it is caused by the medication. For example if you eat something and you’re sure it will make you feel better then it could actually make you feel better, just because you believe it will. Kids have that when their moms give them something, just because they trust their mom when she says it will cure them. Nocebo is the oposite : if you think a medication will make you sick, you could feel sick just y taking it, even though the medication itself would not make you feel sick.

Hope it’s clear… english is not my first language :slight_smile:

oh and half life is the time it takes for the medication to lose half of their efficiency (pharmacology activity).