This Is Concerning - New Side Effect Linked To Tylenol Supplementation
The painkiller commonly known as "Tylenol" is the most prevalently used painkiller in the nation.
But, just because Tylenol is a common brand name (the actual drug is called acetaminophen) doesn't mean it's a safe drug to use.
I've written about the dangers of Tylenol before, and for your sake I hope you use it as sparingly as possible.
In light of new research revealing an odd side effect concerning the use of acetaminophen, I think I'm going to go on the record now and highly recommend you avoid taking it.
According to two studies conducted by researchers from Ohio State University (and published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience), if you take Tylenol you temporarily lose the ability to feel strong empathy for others.
In essence, Tylenol will deaden your physical pain, while also deadening your ability to feel for others' pain and suffering (turning you into a big jerk while you're on Tylenol).
Ok, the part about being a jerk is my personal take on it.
What the researchers said is, "These findings suggest other people's pain doesn't seem as big of a deal to you when you've taken acetaminophen."
You're probably wondering how they came to these conclusions, right?
Well, in one study, researchers isolated two different groups of college students and had them read short stories about someone who was suffering from emotional or physical pain.
Each student in one group took 1,000 mg of Tylenol (roughly equivalent to two extra-strength Tylenol); the other group was given nothing.
They were then asked to rate their emotional reactions to the stories on a scale of 1 to 5. They were also asked to rate how they would imagine the subjects felt.
Participants who had taken acetaminophen rated their reactions to both the emotional and physical pain in the stories as significantly lower than those who had not been given any acetaminophen. The reason why, according to the researchers, has something to do with how the drug affects the body's ability to process information.
On a physiological level, acetaminophen will block pain signals from entering the brain, which effectively serves as a pain reliever. Studies like this show it also does the same for important bits of information needed to make value-based judgements and emotional decisions.
As David Gutierrez writes:
The study is only the latest to show that Tylenol has disturbing effects on emotion and information processing. Prior research by the same team showed that acetaminophen also reduced people's ability to feel positive emotions. Other studies have shown that acetaminophen makes people's emotional reactions more neutral in general, that it blunts the sense of indignation that underlies moral judgment, and that it reduces people's ability to detect their own cognitive errors.
So, the question is...do you think you'll take Tylenol as frequently now that you know all this?