Studies have suggested a strong “placebo effect” in the treatment of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS).

In a study comparing adalimumab and placebo, 50% of placebo recipients had a 50% or greater overall improvement in global response assessment (J Urol 2014;191:77-82).

In a subsequent small proof-of-concept study comparing with adalimumab and placebo, placebo recipients with moderate to severe IC/BPS had significant improvement in symptoms after receiving only advice and support (Urology 2014; online ahead of print).

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The investigators concluded that physicians should review standard advice with all IC/BPS patients before starting medical treatment.