How many times have you seen a commercial for some medication to alleviate some pesky condition, and the bulk of the ad spot is someone droning on about all of the side effects?

And what's up with that print at the bottom that always says, "See our ad in GOLF magazine"?  GOLF magazine must have the sickest readers on planet Earth.  And then those print ads are even scarier than TV commercials.

Writing at PLoS Blogs, Steve Silberman discusses a new report that says side effects may actually be increased by full disclosure of all the side effects.
It's the Nocebo Effect, the evil twin of the Placebo Effect.  A placebo is a fake drug that makes some people feel better, like a sugar pill or homeopathy. A nocebo is a fake drug that makes you feel worse.

Nocebo effect. What a coincidence gluten is getting all of this attention and suddenly parents are convinced their kids are dying from it after 10,000 years of domesticated agriculture. Link: PLoS Blogs.

I'll include a money quote but go read his article to get the full effect (get it?  Full effect?):
But here’s where it gets interesting. If you tell the volunteers that the side effects of this new medicine may include dry mouth, tingling in the hands and feet, and slight dizziness, some volunteers will experience precisely these side effects — in both groups. In fact, some volunteers who are taking nothing but sugar pills will be made so uncomfortable by these symptoms that they will choose to drop out of the trial early.
Are Warnings About the Side Effects of Drugs Making Us Sick? by Steve Silberman, PLoS Blogs