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for example, if someone was using a medicine that on the outside was helping them but was actually causing long-term harm. I seem to think it begins with the letter V?

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  • Close, but probably no cigar: nostrum - a medicine prepared by an unqualified person, especially one that is not considered effective. Mar 6, 2021 at 12:46
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    'Insidious' or 'Pernicious'. Perhaps best treated at difference between 'insidious' and 'pernicious'? Mar 6, 2021 at 12:49
  • The collocation pernicious nostrum apparently had considerable currency a couple of centuries ago. Mar 6, 2021 at 12:52
  • The claimed duplicate is not a duplicate as 'pernicious' is non-metaphorical here and a valid answer. But I felt this should be closed; the question I linked to provided answers. Mar 6, 2021 at 14:35
  • Hi guys unfortunately none of the suggestions are correct, I have since given up my search for this word! I'm sure it will pop up in a few years when I no longer need it haha
    – Max Morgan
    Mar 7, 2021 at 14:18

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