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Will the Pill Really Make it All Better

Will the Pill Really Make it All Better

Whether it be a kiss over a booboo or a colorful Band-Aid, we all have special ways of comforting our children when they are hurt or don’t feel well. A recent article from the New York Times describes a woman who believes she has the answer to every child’s minor ailments.

Jennifer Buettner came up with the idea of marketing a placebo (sugar pill) medicine for kids while she was caring for her young niece who was not feeling well. Her niece was laying it on a little thick and had an obvious case of hypochondria when Buettner was told by a relative to give her niece some Motrin since she believed it was the most benign thing to give.


Buettner found it unnecessary to give real medicine to her niece and decided it would be a great idea for parents to have the option of handing out sugar pills when their kids were exaggerating an illness. She calls her pills Obecalp (Placebo spelled backwards) and will be selling them by the bottle (50 pills) on her website for around $6 a bottle. She plans on coming up with a liquid form of the sugar pill as well.

As expected by Buettner there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Obecalp. Dr. Howard Brody, a medical ethicist and family physician, believes the continual use of placebo pills during childhood can be harmful. Brody says, “Kids grow up thinking that the only way to get better is by taking a pill.” Brody adds that kids may never learn that scraped knees and colds can improve on their own.

Buettner defends her product by saying she is not promoting drug use with Obecalp. She adds that “the over prescription of drugs is a serious problem, and I think there needs to be an alternative.” Buettner believes her pill can reduce potential harms from unnecessary medicines.

What do you think of Jennifer Buettner’s placebo pill for children?

Is this something you would offer your children when and if the need arose?

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  • luckylizzy86 By luckylizzy86
    07.07.08  

    I mean the wrong product

  • sheryl28 By sheryl28
    07.07.08  

    I think I wouldn't try this with my kids but they don't usually exaggerate when it comes to being sick. I do know people who have kids that do make exaggerate and I think this might not be such a bad idea for them.

  • jabla2 By jabla2
    07.07.08  

    THIS IS REDICULOUS!!! How many times have you been to the doctor with a REAL concern and he/she decided that your complaint wasn't serious enough for him/her to treat or diagnos so you ended up suffering needlessly. Not to mention that if you give your child even a fake pill that is setting them up to think that pills or drugs are a good way to fix whatever ailes them. Hope the inventor of this doesn't have a child who feels that since his/her mommy gives them a pill every time they feel sick that they will feel just as safe or inclined to take pills offered by their friends to "feel better".

  • zachsheart By zachsheart
    07.07.08  

    Uhhh a sugar pill? Don't kids aready have enough sugar? What if they are developing diabetes and are having a issue..and give them sugar. That's kind of DUMB if you ask me. If a child is truly ill, they will tell you and you would know. Common sense says...take your kid to the doctor. Another point is that you may be setting your kid up- if they are small and need a "placebo" to encourage them to feel better what will happen when they are teenagers..... do drugs so they feel better.....here in California Medical Marijuana is legal . So here is the scenario....Jennifer Buettner's child at 15: Oh I don't feel well.....maybe I should smoke a joint.

  • GSMurph50 By GSMurph50
    07.08.08  

    This idea is just a ridiculous thought .Pills , pills, pills, that is not the answer.That just makes you into a pill junkie . Why push pills on a child , thats just likea drug pusher to make them feel better .This idea is a most dangerous idea .Let the person that thought this up give it to her or his kids , MINE ? no thank you !!!

  • centgraf By centgraf
    07.08.08  

    Clearly this will send the wrong message to children. A pill will never make everything better. I think this country already has a bad enough drug problem, this seems like it could be a stepping stone to bigger problems.

  • semiblue By semiblue
    07.08.08  

    I think it could cause children to grow up thinking that a pill or liquid medicine is the cure for everything. Bad idea. A kiss, hug or a cute bandaid cure most small things.

  • carbrac By carbrac
    07.08.08  

    If you are a good fit, I think it is a wonderful solution for a lot of women's problems, but you need to assess if you are really a good candidate for the pill.

  • maxandlucy By maxandlucy
    07.09.08  

    Kinda silly, ain't it?? As many years as i've had raising kids, i've found one sure thing, u can't always be sure when they're "faking" an illness. I've come to trust what they say about how they feel. With no fevor, or any symtoms have had a child say they don't feel well... and lo and behold the next thing u know they're vomiting, or spiking a high temp. Trying to take a child's attention off the problem by changing the subject to something they find interesting (school, toys, board games) gives me time to just keep a careful eye on the situation. And No, wouldn't even consider giving a "fake" pill! There are so many creative ways to better handle the case of the fake sick child.

  • durk11 By durk11
    07.09.08  

    I think that giving kids this pill will teach them that drugs are the answer to our ailments. it is a pharmaceutical world out there... but there are better cures than pills. let's teach our kids how to live healthy lifestyles and avoid becoming ill (such as proper hand washing and avoiding things like certain foods that make us feel yucky).

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