The most common pain relief drug in the world is associated with risk-taking behavior

One of the most consumed drugs in the US – and the most commonly taken analgesic worldwide – can do a lot more than simply relieve your headache, recent evidence suggests.

Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol and widely sold under the brand name as Tylenol and Panadol, also increases risk-taking, according to a September 2020 study that found common over-the- The counter measures the change in behavior of people under the influence of medication.

In September 2020, Ohio State University neuroscientist Baldwin Way said, “Acetaminophen makes people feel less negative emotion when considering risky activities – they just don’t feel scared.”

“With approximately 25 percent of the population in the US taking acetaminophen each week, it reduces risk perceptions and increased risk-taking can have a significant impact on society.”

The findings add to a recent body of research suggesting that acetaminophen also has a pain reduction effect on a variety of psychological processes that hurt people’s emotions, decrease feelings, experience less empathy, and Even cognitive functions decrease.

Similarly, recent research shows the ability of people to view and evaluate risks when taking acetaminophen. While the effects may be minor, they are certainly noticeable, given acetaminophen is the most common drug component in the US, found in over 600 different types of over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

In a series of experiments involving more than 500 university students as participants, he and his team measured how a 1,000-milligram dose (the maximum adult single dose recommended) of acetaminophen was assigned to participants who were exposed to their risk-taking behaviors. Randomly affect for a control group given at random compared to placebos.

In each experiment, participants had to pump an uninflated balloon onto a computer screen, with imaginary money on a single screen. His instructions were to make as much imaginary money as possible by pumping the balloon as much as possible, but to ensure that the balloons do not pop, in which case they would lose money.

Results showed that students who took acetaminophen engaged in significantly higher risks during exercise relative to the more cautious and conservative placebo group. Overall, those on acetaminophen pumped (and burst) their balloons more than controls.

“If you’re risk-affected, you can pump a few times and then decide to cash out because you don’t want the balloon to burst and lose your money.”

“But for those who are on acetaminophen, as the balloon gets bigger, we believe they have less anxiety and less negative feelings about how big the balloon is getting and are likely to burst.”

In addition to the balloon simulation, participants also surveyed during two experiments, rating their risk levels in various hypothetical scenarios, such as betting a day’s earnings on a sporting event, bungee jumping a long bridge, Or driving a car without seat.

In one of the surveys, acetaminophen consumption appeared to reduce perceived risk compared to the control group, although in another similar survey, similar effects were not observed.

Overall, however, based on the average of the results across the various trials, the team concludes that there is a significant relationship between taking acetaminophen and choosing more risks, even though the observed effect may be modest.

That said, they acknowledge the apparent effects of the drug on risk-reducing behavior can also be interpreted through other types of psychological processes, such as reduced anxiety, perhaps.

“It may be that as the balloon grows in size, there is an increasing amount of concern about possible bursts to those on the placebo,” the researchers explained.

“When anxiety becomes too high, they terminate the test. Acetaminophen can reduce this anxiety, thus leading to greater risk taking.”

Exploring such psychological alternative explanations for this phenomenon – as well as investigating the biological mechanisms responsible for the effects of acetaminophen on people’s choice in such conditions – should be addressed in future research, the team said.

While they are at it, scientists have no doubt that there will be future opportunities to examine the role and efficacy of acetaminophen in pain relief more widely, after studies in recent years found that many therapies In scenarios, medication can be ineffective in relief, and is sometimes no better than a placebo, except for inviting other types of health problems.

Despite the seriousness of those findings, acetaminophen is nevertheless one of the most commonly used drugs in the world, considered an essential drug by the World Health Organization, and as the primary medication recommended by the CDC, you may reduce symptoms. Should take to do if you think you think. Can be coronavirus.

In light of what we are finding out about acetaminophen, we may want to rethink some of that advice.

“Perhaps someone with mild COVID-19 symptoms may not think that taking acetaminophen is as risky as leaving their home and meeting people.”

“We really need more research on the effects of acetaminophen and other over-the-counter medicines on the choices and risks we choose.”

The findings are stated in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

A version of this article was first published in September 2020.


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