twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Trick Your Kids With Pills

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

One step beyond "Mommy will kiss it and make it all better"--a new placebo pill goes on the market in June.


Is your kid a tiny hypochondriac begging for sympathy for non-existent aches and pains? Give them a pill--a fake one. A controversial "medication" Obecalp  (placebo spelled backwards) is being marketed to parents who want to make their kids feel better--if there's nothing really wrong with them-- with a sugar pill. The pills, 50 tablets for $5.95, will be available next week on the Efficacy Brands website. Beyond the ridiculousness of paying for pills that don't do anything, pediatrician and friend of momlogic Dr. Gwenn thinks "fake medicine" is a bitter pill to swallow.

She suggests parents should "avoid tactics that trick the child into thinking he is getting a medication because it sends the wrong message."

Here are Dr. Gwenn's main concerns:

  • Giving a placebo pill reinforces that "pains" need to be treated. How will these kids handle issues when they get older? Will they up the ante and reach for something stronger?

  • Kids need to learn that real medicine is given for real conditions. We don't want to end up with a generation of pill poppers.

  • Who are we really treating with these pills? The child may be complaining of the pain, but it seems to me it is the parent who can't deal with it and that is who benefits from this "pill."
  • Not all parents think pretend pills are a bad idea. Some believe it's the equivalent of putting a real bandage on an invisible boo-boo.  One mom says, "Sometimes when my daughter says her tummy hurts,  I'm suspicious she just wants the Children's Pepto Bismol (she loves anything pink!), I'll give her a Sweet Tart and tell her it's medicine. She always feels better right away."

    next: Rapper/TV Host Loses Son
    9 comments so far | Post a comment now
    thebirdsmayfly May 29, 2008, 11:25 AM

    This cannot end well… Our society is too dependant on medication to fix all of our woes as it is, this will just make a generation psychologically dependant on pills for every little ache, real or imagined. If a kid is already a hypocandriac isn’t going along with it like this just going to make things worse?

    Stephanie Schwartz May 29, 2008, 12:20 PM

    this is cool

    Ashley May 29, 2008, 12:58 PM

    Personally, I think this is not a good thing. What ever happened to telling the child to cut it out and quit faking. If they are faking what kind of message are you sending to the kid? That even though I’m being a brat and faking there is always a soultion for me to get attention!

    This is absolutely scary!

    Kelley May 29, 2008, 1:52 PM

    What kind of parent thinks this is a good idea? What happened to teaching our children that prescription drugs are just that, drugs, and should be used only when indicated by a physician? No wonder we have a generation of children who are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics. Parents need to think of the long term implications of this lesson, in terms of their child’s future physical and psychological health.

    Lisa May 29, 2008, 4:09 PM

    I am very uncomfortable with encouraging the use of unneeded medication. I agree and share Dr. Gwenn’s concerns with this “medication”.

    We see far too much abuse of over the counter, as well as prescription medication, at our facility.

    Anonymous May 29, 2008, 5:03 PM

    Another stupid idea.

    arefreakingkiddingme May 30, 2008, 1:40 PM

    Who would go out and buy a bunch of sugar pills. I’d do what that other mom does and give my kid a sweet tart
    luckily my kids
    don’t like medicine.

    gina June 8, 2008, 2:06 AM

    I say this is a good idea in conception phase but fails at treating the real problem… Teaching our kids not to complain about fake aches and pains.. I am disabled and so my child obviously hears my aches and pains a lot and she likes to mock them,…I try to decipher the true ones and when I cant decide then I give her peppermint tea or chammomile tea and tell her it will make it better… It worked on 10 kids throughout my family and I would call that results..

    Anonymous June 12, 2008, 7:15 AM

    This is a very bad idea.
    What is this teaching your child?

    Back to top >>