People have heard many strange things about acetaminophen in recent times, which is an active ingredient in Tylenol. Tylenol is generally used as a pain reliever and it treats mild fever as well. However, a new study says that it not just treats the fever and relieves the pain but it also makes people prone to take more risks in life. Experts have said that people who take acetaminophen feel less negative emotions while considering any risky activities. The co-author of the study Dr. Baldwin Way has said that acetaminophen refrains people from feeling scared or less confident. This study has been published in the journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
Scientists have included around 189 college students in the study. Participants have been given 1000 mg of acetaminophen. This dose of acetaminophen is advisable for headaches. Some participants have been given a placebo as well, which looks like a Tylenol. All the participants have been asked to rate a set of activities like bungee jumping, skydiving, starting a new career in their 30s, and walking on an unsafe street alone according to the amount of risk they involve. Participants have rated these activities on a scale of one to seven. The study has found that people who have been given acetaminophen have rated these activities less risky than those who have been given a placebo. Experts have revealed that risk-taking effects after taking acetaminophen have been observed in other experimental studies as well. Such experimental studies have involved around 545 students.
In the experimental studies, participants have been asked to inflate balloons with a click of a button on their computer screen. As per the experiment, every individual is supposed to get virtual money with each balloon pump on screen. With every pump, the size of the balloon gets bigger and in the end, it bursts, and the virtual money is lost with it. Here people need to decide whether they keep pumping in order to make more money or lose it all when the balloon bursts off. Studies show that people who have taken acetaminophen have ended up bursting more balloons than the placebo group. Experts say that taking acetaminophen more than often can have serious implications on daily life activities, which demand risk assessment like driving. Considering the COVID19 pandemic across the world, many people have been taking acetaminophen to subside the symptoms of the virus. Experts claim that the findings of the study can affect the initiatives to mitigate the spread of the virus.