Background: The Placebo is defined as an inert substance with a potent therapeutic effect.
Its effect is attributed to its psychological and neurobiological effect. Its use in Psychiatric drug practice,
drug trials and clinical practice is common, especially in India. Currently there is a debate
whether to use it or not as there are ethical, moral and legal issues. Also, its mechanism of action is
Discussion: The Indian Psychiatry scenario is muddled in relation to use of placebo in Randomized
Controlled Trials or Psychiatric clinical practice. Despite the scepticism associated with this phenomenon
physicians get influenced by it. The present article focuses on the reviews done so far on
the efficacy and use of placebo and also the points in favour and against the same in drug trials and
psychiatric clinical practice.
Summary: A number of controversies are associated with this biologically inert substance which has
no pharmacological role. Currently in medical sciences many scientific studies have been done solely
on placebo. The development in this area may have future implications for further research.