Nocebo Effect - Healthy Living Association

Nocebo Effect


The nocebo effect is the opposite of the placebo effect. It’s a bit like the dark side of “mind over matter.”

Researchers have observed that when you believe a pill, treatment, or intervention could have negative side effects — then you can start to experience those side effects. (even if it’s nothing but a sugar pill)

It’s even more proof that how you feel about treatment for any health condition (optimistic or pessimistic) will affect your outcome.

Bottom line:

The nocebo effect is when you believe a treatment could have negative side effects, and then you start to experience those side effects.

Examples of nocebo effect in a sentence:

“Have you heard of the nocebo effect?”

“My doctor told not to get an MRI for my back because of the nocebo effect.”

“If you opt for surgery, you have to be mindful about the nocebo effect.”