active placebo

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  • noun

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a placebo used in experimental tests of a drug that has noticeable side effects

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Led by Dan Iosifescu, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai; Sanjay Mathew, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine; and James Murrough, MD Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, the research team evaluated 72 people with treatment-resistant depression-meaning their depression has failed to respond to two or more medications-who were administered a single intravenous infusion of ketamine for 40 minutes or an active placebo of midazolam, another type of anesthetic without antidepressant properties.
You could call antidepressants an active placebo because they are real, they are potent, and they have very long lists of adverse effects.
2007) compared studies using an active placebo control group with studies using an inert placebo control group and found that the placebo selected in a study could be another source of bias.
Participants were randomly selected to receive different combinations of vitamin C, vitamin E and a non active placebo.
The researchers tested injectable naltrexone XR in some 600 actively drinking, alcohol-dependent men and women who were given one of two doses of the drug or an active placebo every 4 weeks for 24 weeks.