Confidence in a Bottle??

Gave me pause because yesterday I saw an quarter-page ad in my newspaper for this item.

To the great minds here I must appeal…is this for real???

I simply don’t understand why respected venues accept this type of advertising. Don’t their salespeople look at the ad in question before placing it and think for a minute? Doesn’t accepting advertising for such products place just a hint of “well maybe this newspaper ISN’T so smart” kind of thinking to the masses??

But, I stand with the GQ…is this stuff for real???

Well, the ingredients include passionflower and valerian, which are herbs with pretty well documented seditive effects.

How long until someone gets convinced that Papaver somniferum is an herb and should be sold without FDA approval? I mean, it isn’t a dangerous chemical like alcohol. It’s a flower! A pretty, pretty flower that Thomas Jefferson planted alongside his hemp!

I can’t give a GQ answer to whether this stuff is real, because it will never get tested in any scientific manner.

I do know why newspapers (and magazines and television and radio and websites and…) accept this nonsense. It’s a legal product. While media providers have leeway in what they can or will run, they might be liable to a suit if they arbitrarily turned away such advertising without cause. And what cause would there be? That the stuff is fraudulent junk? How would they prove that? (see first paragraph) It’s being carried at large advertisers, er, I mean at legitimate retail outlets. That makes it legitimate.

This is not a first amendment issue, since commercial speech has not been given the same protections as political speech by the courts. Even so, frauds have historically been given the power to advertise their frauds until a court steps in and says they can’t do so anymore. A newspaper has to be very courageous to step into that quagmire before a court does.

Ads for these kinds of innocent little OTC medicine are an ancient tradition in both respected and less respected media. The pills usually have a mild to very mild sedative/calming effect. The larger part of their strenght lies in the placebo-effect, without the unpleasant side-effects of alcohol. .

So, imho nothing new, nothing particularly “if you believe this you are stupid” about that ad.

Right. Its ingredients have only been tested in studies published in places like Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, The European Journal of Heart Failure, The Complete German Commission E Monographs, The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia Univ Press, and JAMA, the hacks.

There are multiple pages of references with lots of scientific studies for the various ingredients.

These are some of the least controversial and safest herbs out there. Assuming they’re present in therapeutic doses (which I can’t tell from the website) this should be a very effective product for mild anxiety. Of course, they can’t say so, as the word “anxiety” is a medical diagnosis. “Occasional nervous tension” hasn’t been appropriated by the medical community yet, and so is fair game.

WhyNot: When I’m buying those pills, how do I know how much active ingredient is in each pill? Is it consistent between pills? For that matter, how do I know whether those ingredients are included at all?

I hear it works better if it is applied DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD.

About Indigene:

Quick translation required.

If pharmacology is about finding useful substances that help you, reverse pharmacology would be… ?

Snakeoil salesmen actually still sell snakeoil, and they’ve updated their patter to draw in the rubes who think they know something.

“At Indigene, we’ll tell you whatever our marketing department has determined will make us a buck.”

Well, thank god they’re using **natural ** molecules. I wouldn’t want to take something that could harm me.

I also like their reliance on a “proprietary knowledge base”, which is in keeping with the esteemed scientific tradition of keeping your results a secret.

OK, thanks.

That’s what I like about The Dope. Whatever the question, there are always dedicated people ready and willing to ‘go the extra mile’ in order to answer the most arcane request for information.

I applaud you all for exemplifying the ethos of this forum.

I can pretty much guarantee you that Pre-Tense pills have never been studied and the results published in any journal.

The ad doesn’t put in the following disclaimer for nothing.

And the same disclaimer is added to the ingredients page you link to. I wonder how many of those studies they reference happen to look at the four ingredients in combination. But of course since Pre-tense won’t tell you how much of any of those ingredients are in their pills, any studies that did would add no information about their product.

It’s snake-oil. Period.

The four ingredients of water, malted barley, yeast, and hops has similar therapeutic value (excepting that concentration probably won’t improve at high doses :wink: )

As an aside,

I do suffer from these symptoms and have for a long while. I don’t know if it’s psychological or what, but it can get very bad for me and has caused me to become extremely introverted at times.

So obvisouly these things won’t help me, but does anyone know what might? Any drugs I might mention to my doctor?


Yikes. For people with a chronic anxiety disorder, benzodiazepines are quite addictive, and cause rebound anxiety when they start to wear off. Withdrawal from high doses can be very difficult.

The dictionary defines pretense as:

  1. pretending or feigning; make-believe: My sleepiness was all pretense.
  2. a false show of something: a pretense of friendship.
  3. a piece of make-believe.
  4. the act of pretending or alleging falsely.
  5. a false allegation or justification: He excused himself from the lunch on a pretense of urgent business.
  6. insincere or false profession: His pious words were mere pretense.

and so on.

Is this even a genuine product? My first thought was that it’s a spoof site. How can they not know what pretense means?

There are non-drug treatments for anxiety, too. Cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, etc.