Acetaminophen: A drug that deadens the joy as well as the pain

In their study they showed very pleasant and very disturbing photographs to 2 groups of people. One group had taken acetaminophen, the other a placebo…  After reviewing the results, the researchers concluded the painkiller blunts positive emotions.

“This means that using Tylenol or similar products might have broader consequences than previously thought,” said Geoffrey Durso, the study’s lead author.“Rather than just being a pain reliever, acetaminophen can be seen as an all-purpose emotion reliever.”

The mood changes, however, were subtle. Baldwin Way, an assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State and one of the authors, said most people taking the drug were not aware they felt any different.

“Most people probably aren’t aware of how their emotions may be impacted when they take acetaminophen,” he said…

Acetaminophen has been in use for about 70 years and is considered the most common drug ingredient in the U.S. The researchers cite an industry trade group in estimating it is found in more than 600 medications. About 23 million U.S. consumers take a drug each week containing acetaminophen.

Because of those large numbers, the researchers say consumers should be aware of the drug’s psychological side effects, especially since those effects appear to be so subtle. But for people whose moods tend to bounce from high to low, those side effects might not be all bad.

“People who took acetaminophen didn’t feel the same highs or lows as did the people who took placebos,” Way said…

This study doesn’t seem very scientific to me.  Showing “disturbing” photos?  Considering what’s available online, and what we see in the movies and news every day, what kind of photos did they consider disturbing?

And to say that Tylenol is an “all-purpose emotion reliever” just sounds stupid.  Sorry, but it does. Further, it doesn’t say who funded the study… Was it, I dunno, the makers of Tylenol?

For adults, I don’t think this study means anything.  But since so many children take Tylenol, one has to wonder how it affects their brains.  I read one study that suggested a connection between Tylenol and autism, but that doesn’t mean much either.  Still, if I had small children, I think I would choose aspirin over Tylenol any day.

Let me repeat:  For adults, taking Tylenol will not improve your mood.  Period, end of sentence.

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