A "sugar pill," or a fake, dummy treatment (usually a pill), which contains no ingredients which can medically improve physical health, but because the patient is told it will help, may actually make the patient feel better just because the patient thinks it will.
The word placebo comes from the Latin, meaning "I shall please."
The use of placebos in the everyday practice of medical raises ethical questions but surveys have shown they are prescribed at times when a doctor believes the patient's illness may be psychosomatic.
Placebos are often used in clinical drug trials so that one group of participants will be given the real drug being tested, and another group will be given the sugar pill. The results are measured against each other to see whether the real drug is helpful to patients.
obecalp - placebo spelled backwards - is the term that may be used by a doctor who prescribes a placebo to a patient
cebocap - is a lactose pill, another kind of placebo