The main ingredient in pain relievers like Tylenol may cause those who take it feel less empathy for others.
At least, that’s according to a news study published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience by The Ohio State University.
The latest knock against Tylenol?
The study’s abstract said that by not feeling your own pain, from acetaminophen, it makes it harder to feel the pain of others.
‘Research shows that acetaminophen can have psychological effects, but the social effects hasn’t been investigated as well yet,’ study coauthor and post-doctorate fellow at the National Institutes of Health Dominik Mischkowski told CBS News.
Researchers conducted two rounds of experiments on different groups of students.
In the first one, half of the 80 college students in the experiment drank 1,000 mg of acetaminophen. Results found that those who took the medicine and read eight different scenarios rated them as less severe than the other 40 students who took a placebo.
Similar results occurred in the second experiment, which involved 114 students.
‘Pain might actually decrease empathy as well. So, there are other factors that need to be taken into account,’ Mischkowski told USA Today.
Mischkowski also emphasized that the ingredient does not completely remove empathy and and said the effects shown in the study are ‘moderate.’