No pain, no pleasure, less emotion 25



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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”.

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.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. If people only saw the damage paracetamol does to their livers, they would be very careful as to how much they ingested. It is deadly.

  2. The days of taking a bex powder with a cuppa and a good lie down are gone. People are not addicted to panadol. Anyone that takes it does so because of genuine pain. The ones who swallow it by the clock for no reason. Well that’s a mental health is issue.

  3. I consider panadol to be pretty harmless compared to many other drugs like oxycontine..if I am am in pain I will take the risk of swallowing a panadol

  4. Panadol taken as it should be is harmless, however abusing it and taking it too often can be deadly. I don’t need to take any painkillers regularly but if i do , i consider panadol to be the safest option.

  5. I don’t care what they say, if I am in pain I am taking a panadol, I am not sitting up awake all night in pain for any study

  6. I was told I could take Panadol Osteo, two twice a day every day, but I have always had a ‘thing’ about tablets and medication and so only take them when I’m in horrible pain. 2-4 times a month would be normal for me. Can’t take anything else as it mucks up my warfarin.

  7. Panadol/ paracetamol taken at the right dose, 4 to 6 hourly intervals should be safe. If having to take everyday should be cleared by a doctor

  8. I do agree with this. I take 4 panadol osteo, & have found it makes me a bit dopey & more sleepy. I dont react to emotional outbursts. I can take 6 a day, but choose to only take 4, otherwise i feel likexa zombie

  9. Panadol is the safest medication. Does not interfere with other meds. & does not interfere with kidney or liver function. Aspirin & Nurofen are the dangerous ones.

  10. Sick of studies..when I have pain due to stress I take a panadirne relieves. My pain and calms be maybe once a week. All my blood tests are perfect.

  11. Paracetamol is made from phenacetin, which was removed from Bex and Vincents because it caused liver and kidney failure.

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