What is nocebo effect and how to avoid it?

The “nocebo” effect is a phenomenon that occurs when a patient's negative perception of treatment makes the outcome of treatment worse than expected. The nocebo effect can be minimized by reducing negative expectations and anxiety about treatment and discussing the potential for side effects in the context of the benefits of treatment.1-3 


Downloadable Biosimilars Nocebo Effect Slide Kit


  1. Colloca L, Panaccione R, Murphy TK. The Clinical Implications of Nocebo Effects for Biosimilar Therapy. Front Pharmacol. 2019;10:1372.
  2. Colloca L, Barsky AJ. Placebo and Nocebo Effects. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(6):554-561.
  3. Petrie KJ, Rief W. Psychobiological Mechanisms of Placebo and Nocebo Effects: Pathways to Improve Treatments and Reduce Side Effects. Annu Rev Psychol. 2019;70:599-625.