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Your Pain Reliever
May Also Be Diminishing Your Joy
Ohio State University Study, published in ScienceDaily
Researchers studying the commonly used pain reliever acetaminophen found it has a previously unknown side effect: It blunts positive emotions. In the study, participants who took acetaminophen reported less strong emotions when they saw both very pleasant and very disturbing photos, when compared to those who took placebos.
Acetaminophen, the main ingredient in the over-the-counter pain reliever Tylenol, has been in use for more than 70 years in the United States, but this is the first time that this side effect has been documented.
Previous research had shown that acetaminophen works not only on physical pain, but also on psychological pain. This study takes those results one step further by showing that it also reduces how much users actually feel positive emotions, said Geoffrey Durso, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in social psychology at The Ohio State University. "This means that using Tylenol or similar products might have broader consequences than previously thought," Durso said.