New study challenges effects of Tylenol on user's emotions

3 years 7 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, April 15 2015 Apr 15, 2015 Wednesday, April 15, 2015 3:04:00 PM CDT April 15, 2015 in News
By: Christian Piekos, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - The classic drug Tylenol may be having effects on you that you may not even be aware of.

In a study conducted on college students at The Ohio State University, acetaminophen, the main ingredient found in Tylenol, may reduce emotional response in daily life.

Geoffrey Durso, the lead author of the study at Ohio State is confident in the new findings dealing with the popular brand of pain reliever.

"Rather than just being a pain reliever, acetaminophen can be seen as an all-purpose emotion reliever," Durso said in a report from the Association for Psychological Science.

But Columbia Pharmacist Erica Hopkins-Wadlow thinks otherwise.

"I don't believe there is a lot of validity in it.The size of the study was very small. There has to be a larger amount of people and there are a lot of different variables that have to be controlled," Hopkins-Wadlow said.

The study involved giving a group of 82 college students, half of whom took an "acute dose" of acetaminophen. The other half took an identical looking placebo pill. After waiting 60 minutes, the participants were asked to look at a series of 40 pictures, ranging from "extremely unpleasent" to "very pleasent." Those students who took the acetaminophen reported they viewed the photos as "less emotionally extreme" than those who took the placebo.

Hopkins-Wadlow said that she had never heard of a case of an individual taking Tylenol and then feeling "emotion-less."

"You need to know more information about who they are studying," Hopkins-Wadlow said. "Is there current psychological issues going on with the patients they're studying? Are they on other medications? There are so many variables that have to be controlled in a study.

According to the report, researchers are unsure whether or not other pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, have the same effects as acetaminophen.

 

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