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May 15, 2002

When Are Medication Side Effects Due to the Nocebo Phenomenon?

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(19):2502-2504. doi:10.1001/jama.287.19.2502

To the Editor: Dr Barsky and colleagues1 observe that patients who somatize or who are anxious or depressed have better recollection of side effects to antidepressant therapy. While I agree with this observation, there is little support for their suggestion of a collaborative strategy to treat anxious, depressed, or somatizing patients. Depressed patients with elevated anxiety and somatic symptoms receiving usual care for depression have been found to adhere well to antidepressant therapy, and their anxiety and somatization improve with treatment of depression.2,3