Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Could It Be A Good Thing That Paracetamol Dulls Emotions?

  • Acetaminophen (found in Paracetamol, Tylenol) can relieve physical and emotional pain.
  • Researchers studied 82 college students and found those who took Acetaminophen had a less emotional reaction when shown negative and positive pictures compared to those who took placebos.

A recent study has found a new side effect of acetaminophen; the active ingredient in Paracetamol, Tylenol and other pain medications. Acetaminophen can affect stifle positive and negative emotions.

The study was able to demonstrate how participants who took acetaminophen reported less strong emotions when they saw both very pleasant and very disturbing photos, when compared to those who took placebos (i.e a pill with no therapeutic effect).

Eighty-two college students were used as the test subjects of the study. About half of them took an acute dose of 1000 milligrams of acetaminophen and the rest took an identical-looking placebo. After waiting an hour for the drug to work, participants looked at 40 photographs selected from a database - ranging from the extremely unpleasant (crying, malnourished children) to the neutral (a cow in a field) to the very pleasant (young children playing with cats).

They were asked to rate the pictures. According to the results, those who took acetaminophen rated all the photographs less extremely than did those who took the placebo. This means that positive photos were not seen as positively under the influence of acetaminophen and negative photos were not seen as negatively. The same went for their emotional reactions to the pictures.

Past research has also shown that acetaminophen works not only on physical pain, but also on psychological pain which may have paved the way for this recent discovery.

The study has been published in the journal Psychological Science.

Ermmm.....I think some people may welcome this side effect when dealing with heartbreak.

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