CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 27:  In this photo illustration, a selection of pain, cold, flu, and sinus medication which contain acetaminophen are offered for sale at Costco Wholesale store December 27, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois. Acetaminophen which is an ingredient in a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications, is also one of the leading causes of acute liver failure in the U.S due to unintentional overdoses.  (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Health - Wellness
A Side Effect Of Acetaminophen You Never Expected
Drugs are commonly interpreted as dangerous and illegal substances leading to risky behaviors. It turns out, though, that the legal, over-the-counter medication acetaminophen, widely sold as Tylenol, may make a person feel more comfortable doing something wild, according to a study conducted by Ohio State University.
Study co-author Baldwin Way said that acetaminophen reduces hurt feelings, distress over another's suffering, and even feelings of joy; this numbing of emotions is called a "flat affect." This analysis aligns with previous findings that taking analgesics — or pain killers — blunt positive and negative feelings, making people less concerned about the risks' consequences.
About one-quarter of Americans take painkillers weekly to relieve headaches, backaches, or cramps. Way said it's especially important to be aware of this "risk of risk aversion" before taking a painkiller and explained, "Perhaps someone with mild COVID-19 symptoms may not think it is as risky to leave their house and meet with people if they're taking acetaminophen."