Study says Tylenol could decrease empathy in users
Tylenol might get rid of a headache, but it could also numb a person’s feelings, according to a study published by The Ohio State University.
The study shows that when people took acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol, they were less likely to empathize with people experiencing pain or unfortunate circumstances.
“Pain might actually decrease empathy as well. So, there are other factors that need to be taken into account,” Dominik Mischkowski, co-author of the study and current post doctorate fellow at the National Institutes of Health said.
He said that the sample size for the study was small and researchers are continuing to study the effect.
In the initial round of the study, 80 college students, half of which took 1,000 mg of acetaminophen, read eight different scenarios. The group that took the pain medication then 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.
Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in the nation, found in more than 600 medicines, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and about 23 percent of U.S. adults use a medication that contains acetaminophen weekly.