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Research

Acetaminophen turns off emotions, turning one into a zombie

Researchers from Ohio State University, have come up with a striking and surprising study which states that acetaminophen affects the emotional state of an individual, rendering one a zombie. The Journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience published the study in 2016.

The research reveals that acetaminophen, the active ingredient in drugs like Tylenol, can turn off more than just your pain. It potentially down-regulates human emotions and reduces one’s ability to empathize with others.

Acetaminophen is available as an over the counter (OTC) pain reliever. However, it appears to be a mind-altering drug. The study suggests that a regular intake of the drug has zombifying effects on its consumers. It causes problems with interpersonal relations, both at work and in one’s social life.

What does the study say?

This respective research featured two sections of experiments.

The first part of the study employed a team of 80 college students. All of them were equally divided into two groups. One group was given 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen. On the other hand, the other group served as a placebo.

The participants were then given a series of stories to read. These stories were about people going through pain. The participants were then asked to rate the pain of the characters in the stories.

The researchers found that participants treated with acetaminophen consistently gave lower pain ratings for people in the stories. In comparison, the placebo group gave higher ratings. Hence, the results suggested that acetaminophen turned these students less emotional.

In the second part of the research, 114 students were taken under study. Half of them were given 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen and the rest got a placebo.

The researchers evaluated their responses to unpleasant, loud noises. All of them were subjected to two-to-four second blasts of sound from a white noise machine. The frequency of the sound ranged between 75 and 105 decibels. The students then rated the noises on a scale of 1 (not unpleasant at all) to 10 (extremely unpleasant).

The results demonstrated that the acetaminophen group constantly rated the noises as less troublesome than the placebo group. Moreover, the participants taking acetaminophen also believed that the noise would be less irritating to others. They displayed a reduction in compassion and their ability to empathize with others.

Acetaminophen is a dangerous pharmacological compound

Baldwin Way, the leader of the study, declared empathy important. He added that if one of the partners in a couple, takes acetaminophen during an argument, he/she is less likely to understand, what one did to hurt the feelings of the other.

Note that acetaminophen’s deleterious effects on emotional state aren’t the only thing to be concerned about. Acetaminophen and other OTC pain relievers have also been linked to a number of hosts of health concerns. These might include liver damage and increased risk of heart attack etc.

Beside other dangers associated with OTC painkillers; this research has increased the urgency of natural and less harmful methods of pain relief. The medical community should take into account this alarming situation, even if it brings less profit for Big Pharma.

Many of the drugs have been into the market before the attribution of their adverse effects. It is a matter of fact and enlightens the incompetence and unwillingness of the pharmaceutical industry in investigating their products thoroughly.

Fortunately, a number of great alternatives to these drugs do exist. For example, Acupuncture has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Moreover, science keeps on confirming its vast benefits for relieving pain as well.

Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan has studied bio-medical sciences and loves to contribute her research into the field of health through her writing. Her expertise includes product reviews and health news reporting but she enjoys writing research-based news, the most. Twitter- @MichelleKwan19

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