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A pill or other drug form which contains no effective ingredients, but has the same color and shape as a drug undergoing therapeutic testing. When taken, it may have a therapeutic effect (the placebo effect) because the patient anticipates such, and it is thus used in trials to eliminate this factor. By comparing a group taking a placebo with another group receiving the therapeutic drug, a proper appraisal can be made of the treatment's efficacy and safety. Most placebos consist of lactose or similar ingedients.


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