No pain, no pleasure, less emotion

Could the use of paracetamol be leaving you with less pain and fewer feelings of pleasure or angst? A new study published in Psychological Journal suggests so.

A US research team have compared users of over-the-counter paracetamol with a users of a placebo, and saying that among 82 volunteers in the study, taking a standard 100mg dose, there was evidence that paracetamol may have more uses than we currently see for it.

After waiting 60 minutes for the drug to take effect, the 82 people were asked to rate 40 photographs on whether the image made them feel positive or negative. According to results reported in the Telegraph UK, volunteers who took paracetamol reported weaker feelings when they saw both pleasant and harrowing photographs of people crying, malnourished children, and children playing with kittens.

“Using paracetamol might have broader consequences than previously thought,” said lead author Geoffrey Durso, a doctoral student in social psychology at The Ohio State University.

“Rather than just being a pain reliever, paracetamol can be seen as an all-purpose emotion reliever”.

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Research conducted prior to this has shown that the pain killing ingredient has been effective on psychological pain as well as physical pain, but this is an apparent breakthrough.

The leader of the study, Dr Baldwin Way, assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State said to The Telegraph, “Most people probably aren’t aware of how their emotions may be impacted when they take paracetamol”.

“People who took acetaminophen didn’t feel the same highs or lows as did the people who took placebos”.

Do you take Paracetamol regularly? Consider this next time you do.