[Efficacy of a non blind placebo prescription]

Encephale. Jan-Feb 2003;29(1):68-71.
[Article in French]


The aim of our open clinical trial was to determine the efficacy and the tolerance of a blue coloured placebo in moderated anxious patients (Hamilton score below 15) and a red one for tired patients without DSM IV criteria of major depressive disorder. All the patients knew that treatment was a placebo and so, had no pharmacological effect. The trial run over seven days. All patients were considered as responders if their initial symptoms were reduced more than 50%. At the end of the week, the final clinical evaluation showed that 18 patients about 34 were in good condition (10 anxious patients, 7 women and 3 men, and 8 tired patients, 4 women and 4 men). The anxious score of Hamilton scale was reduced of 63%; 16 of the 18 responders were absolutely sure that the treatment was usefull. Four patients were obliged to stop their treatment because side effects: insomnia, tiredness and sleepiness, gastric pain and itching of fore arm.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / drug therapy*
  • Color Perception
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Drug Prescriptions*
  • Fatigue / diagnosis
  • Fatigue / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Placebo Effect*
  • Placebos / adverse effects*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Placebos