Study: Tylenol makes you empathize less with other people
Second study confirms frightening side effect
For the second time since 2016, a study has found that Tylenol, the popular painkiller that uses acetaminophen, makes its users less sensitive to other people’s suffering, less empathetic. Empathy, according to scientists, is one of the glues that holds community together and prompts us to work on the behalf of others.
It’s estimated that one quarter of all American adults take a drug with acetampinophen every week. That’s more than 81 million people.
The most recent study was published last month in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. It involved 114 university students. In a double-blind experiment, meaning neither the patients nor the scientists knew who was getting which, students were given either 1,000 mg of acetaminophen or a placebo.
One hour later, those students read a short article about something positive that happened to another person, like a job promotion or a marriage proposal. What scientists found was that people who had taken acetaminophen understood that good things were happening to the people in the article, but they ranked themselves as just not caring that much.
Scientists believe this is because of the way the drug affects your brain– saying it dulls your physical pain by dulling your emotional reaction to things as well.
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