Every week 50 million Americans pop Tylenol without giving much thought to its side effects. A recent study conducted at Ohio State University has concluded that not only does Tylenol relieve physical pain, but it also relieves emotions–all emotions. Geoffrey Durso, lead author of the study, said this about the findings:
In all, rather than being labeled as merely a pain reliever, acetaminophen might be better described as an all-purpose emotion reliever…[and] it is apparent that using acetaminophen for the treatment of pain might have broader consequences than previously thought.”
At first it sounds like the perfect pill to pop to taper off emotional pain, but a closer look at the language in the study reveals that acetaminophen (generic for Tylenol) doesn’t discriminate between happy stimulus and bad stimulus. In the study it says: “Participants who took acetaminophen evaluated unpleasant stimuli less negatively and pleasant stimuli less positively, compared with participants who took a placebo.” Basically, what that means is that acetaminophen dulls all emotions. It’s a joy killer as well as a pain killer.
Tylenol and other acetaminophen products have been under attack lately for being the cause of over 150 deaths a year as well as for damaging the stomach and liver, even in small doses.
Most people who take the drug don’t think of it as anything powerful and are often careless about the dosage. Now, there’s more reason than ever to make sure to only take the pain/emotion reliever when it’s absolutely necessary.