Tylenol may decrease empathy, study shows

Popping a Tylenol might get rid of your headache, but it also could numb your feelings.

A new study published by The Ohio State University in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience shows when people took acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol, they were less likely to empathize with individuals experiencing pain or misfortune.

“Pain might actually decrease empathy as well. So, there are other factors that need to be taken into account,” said Dominik Mischkowski, co-author of the study and current post doctorate fellow at the National Institutes of Health. He added the sample size is small and researchers are continuing to study the effect.

In the first round of the study, 80 college students read eight different scenarios. Half of the group consumed 1,000 mg of acetaminophen. The group that took the pain medication rated the scenarios as less severe than those that did not take the medication. A second experiment surveyed 114 college students and showed similar results.

“If you are having an argument with your spouse and you just took acetaminophen, this research suggests you might be less understanding of what you did to hurt your spouse's feelings." said Baldwin Way, the senior author of the study, to Science Daily.

Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in the United States, found in more than 600 medicines, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. About 23% of U.S. adults use a medication that contains acetaminophen weekly.

 

KGW


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment