sugar pill


Definition of sugar pill

: a pharmacologically inert pill : placebo

Examples of sugar pill in a Sentence

Half the patients were given the medication and the other half received a sugar pill.
Recent Examples on the Web Half the patients will receive ruxolitinib, while the other half will receive a sugar pill and supportive care, including ventilation and intravenous fluids. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW joins drug trial aimed at preventing major COVID-19 killer: Haywire immune response," 24 June 2020 In the strictest sense, a placebo would be nothing more than a sugar pill, as this allows scientists to determine whether the treatment under study is actively helping people. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "The race to develop coronavirus treatments pushes the ethics of clinical trials," 28 Mar. 2020 At first the health minister, Agnès Buzyn, seemed to accept the case that patients who pop sugar pills might cut down on antibiotics and other pharmacology, which the French notoriously overconsume. The Economist, "French authorities dilute homeopaths’ profits," 18 July 2019 At best, counterfeit medications aren’t what they are supposed to be, like sugar pills. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "The Uphill Fight Against Fake Prescription Drugs," 8 Oct. 2018 More broadly, the placebo trial, in which some patients receive a sugar pill or solution, is ill-suited to many situations. Kate Bachelder Odell, WSJ, "When Medical Innovation Meets Politics," 24 Aug. 2018 Over the years, taking a sugar pill, receiving a sham injection, or even just visiting a doctor has been shown to reduce pain, lower blood pressure, and relieve depression. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "I Hacked My Body So You Don't Have To," 25 June 2018 Birth control taken continuously, meaning no sugar pills during your period, can really make your hormones haywire. Sarah Hosseini, Good Housekeeping, "Just Because You Can't See My Endometriosis Doesn't Mean It's Not There," 12 Mar. 2016 Screenings of the classic 1931 version of Dracula included nurses in the theater and a dose of ‘nerve tonic’ (sugar pills) before the film, Clepper writes in a paper for Film History. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The Hair-Raising Gimmicks of the Abominable Showman," 31 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sugar pill.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sugar pill

1852, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of sugar pill was in 1852

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Cite this Entry

“Sugar pill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for sugar pill

sugar pill


English Language Learners Definition of sugar pill

: a pill that is given to a patient like a drug but that has no medicine in it

sugar pill


Medical Definition of sugar pill

: a pharmacologically inert pill : placebo

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