The world’s most consumed pain reliever appears to do a lot more than just eliminate headaches. The substance called acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol and sold widely under the brand names Tylenol and Panadol, is dangerous for affecting human behavior when taking risks.
According to a study in September 2020, changes in people’s behavior were measured when they are under the influence of common over-the-counter medications.
“Acetaminophen appears to make people feel less negative emotions when they think of risky activities – they don’t feel fear,” said neuroscientist Baldwin Wai of Ohio State University.
This study is in addition to a group of research indicating that the effects of acetaminophen extend from Pain relief To different psychological interactions, which reduces people’s acceptance of hurt feelings and suffer from weak empathy, and even impairment of cognitive functions.
Likewise, recent research indicates that people’s emotional ability to perceive and assess risk could be affected when they take acetaminophen.
Although the effects may be minor, they are definitely worth a mention, given that acetaminophen is found in more than 600 different types of over-the-counter painkillers. Science Alert.
More than a pain reliever
In a series of trials involving more than 500 college students as participants, Wai and his team measured how a single dose of acetaminophen (the maximum recommended dose for adults) randomly assigned to participants on their risk behavior, compared to a randomly assigned placebo.
In each experiment, participants had to blow a balloon onto a computer screen, with each puff earning fake money.
Their instructions were to earn as much imaginative money as possible by blowing the balloon as much as possible while being careful not to pop it, in which case they would lose money.
The results showed that the students who took acetaminophen were significantly more likely to take greater risks during exercise, compared to the placebo group, which was more cautious and conservative.
Indeed, acetaminophen users inflated their balloons over the controls and they eventually exploded and lost all their money.
“If you are avoiding the risk, you might blow a few times and then decide to spend the money because you don’t want the balloon to burst and lose your money, but for those taking acetaminophen, we think their anxiety was less, as their negative feelings about the balloon size and the likelihood of it bursting decreased,” said Wai.
In addition to the balloon simulation, participants also filled out questionnaires during two experiments, and rated the level of risk they saw in different hypothetical scenarios, such as betting on a day’s income at a sporting event, bungee jumping over a long bridge, or driving a car without a seat belt.
In one survey, acetaminophen consumption was also shown to reduce the perceived risk compared to the control group, although the same effect was not observed in another similar survey.
Overall, based on average results across the various tests, the team concluded that there is a significant relationship between taking acetaminophen and choosing more risks, even if the observed effect is slight.
However, they acknowledge that the drug’s apparent effects on risk-taking behavior could also be explained by other types of psychological interactions, such as anxiety relief.
“As the balloon size increased, those taking placebo felt an increased amount of anxiety about a possible explosion, and when the anxiety became too much, they ended the experiment. Acetaminophen may reduce this anxiety, leading to increased risk,” the researchers explained.
Despite the seriousness of these results, acetaminophen is still one of the most widely used drugs in the world, and is considered an essential drug by the World Health Organization, and is recommended by the US Center for Disease Control as the primary drug and pain reliever best suited to relieve symptoms if you think you may be infected with a virus. Corona.
What is acetaminophen?
According to what was published site World of Molecules Chemical, acetaminophen consists of several chemical elements, including benzy, which is modified so that it becomes highly reactive to an electrophilic aromatic substitution.
In which drugs is it present?
This substance is found in the drug Panadol, which is popular in Europe, Africa, Asia, Central America and Australia.
In North America, it is used under its original name, Acetaminophen, Paracetamol, Tylenol, or Tempra.
In some stronger medicines, codeine, which is an opium extract, is added, which requires a doctor’s prescription.