ENTERTAINMENT

According to one study, the pain reliever used by 25% of Americans alters the user's risk perception


Almost 25 percent of the US population take acetaminophen to relieve headaches. However, a new discovery suggests that this could have an impact on society.

The researchers found that paracetamol, the main ingredient in Tylenol and around 600 other drugs, altered risk perception by making certain activities appear less dangerous.

Participants in a new study took 1,000 mg of the drug or a placebo and were asked to rate certain activities based on risk.

Those on the paracetamol rated activities like bungee jumping or starting a new career in their mid-30s as less risky than those taking the placebo.

The researchers involved in the experiment note that acetaminophen was promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a means of treating initial coronavirus symptoms, and suggest that people with a mild case may be leaving their homes not seen as a risk – and so spread the virus problem to others.

The researchers found that paracetamol, the main ingredient in Tylenol and about 600 other drugs, altered risk perception by making certain activities appear less dangerous. Participants in a new study took 1,000 mg of the drug or a placebo and were asked to rate certain activities based on risk

The study, conducted by Ohio State University, builds on previous work that found that acetaminophen affects the user's psychosis as it was found to affect positive and negative emotions such as hurt feelings, worrying about the suffering of others, and even theirs own joy reduced.

Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State University, said, "Acetaminophen seems to make people feel less negative when they consider risky activities – they just don't feel as anxious."

"With nearly 25 percent of the US population taking acetaminophen each week, decreased risk awareness and risk appetite could have important implications for society."

The study recruited 189 students who were given either 1,000 mg of the drug or a placebo that looked exactly the same. This group was told that it was paracetamol before taking it.

The study recruited 189 students who were given either 1,000 mg of the drug or a placebo, which looked exactly the same. This group was told that it was paracetamol before taking it. After the drug took effect, the volunteers were asked to conduct a survey that rated certain activities based on risk

The study recruited 189 students who were given either 1,000 mg of the drug or a placebo, which looked exactly the same. This group was told that it was paracetamol before taking it. After the drug took effect, volunteers were asked to conduct a survey that ranked certain activities according to risk

Those on the paracetamol rated activities like bungee jumping or starting a new career in their mid-30s as less risky than those taking the placebo.

Those on the paracetamol rated activities like bungee jumping or starting a new career in their mid-30s as less risky than those taking the placebo.

After the drug took effect, the volunteers were asked to conduct a survey that rated certain activities based on risk.

The results showed that those under the influence of acetaminophen rated activities such as bungee jumping, went home alone at night in an unsafe neighborhood, started a new career in their mid-30s, and took a skydiving course as less risky than those who attended the placebo took part.

The effects of paracetamol on risk taking were also tested in three separate experimental studies.

For one of the studies, 545 undergraduate students also received doses of acetaminophen before participating in a series of assignments that measure risk behavior.

These exercises were used to predict behaviors such as alcohol and drug use, as well as stealing and driving without a seat belt.

The volunteers were asked to click a button that inflated a balloon on a computer screen and each time it was inflated the person was given virtual money.

However, they were allowed to stop at any time and add the money to their "bank" and move on to the next balloon – but the risk is there.

"As you pump the balloon, it gets bigger and bigger on your computer screen and you make more money with each pump," Way said.

Paracetamol is the main ingredient in Tylenol and is used by 25 percent of the US population. It was promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a means of treating initial coronavirus symptoms and suggests that those with a mild case may not have viewed leaving their home as a risk, thereby spreading the virus to others is transmitted

Paracetamol is the main ingredient in Tylenol and is used by 25 percent of the US population. It was promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a means of treating initial coronavirus symptoms and suggests that those with a mild case may not have viewed leaving their home as a risk – causing the virus to spread to others is transmitted

"But when it gets bigger, you have to make this decision: Should I keep pumping and see if I can make more money knowing that if it pops, I'll lose the money I made from that balloon?"

The results were similar to those of the previous study – those who took acetaminophen kept pumping.

The results showed that those who took the drug pumped more frequently than those who took the placebo and burst more balloons.

"If you are risk averse, you can pump a few times and then opt for a withdrawal because you don't want the balloon to pop and lose your money," said Way.

"But for those who take acetaminophen, we believe that the bigger the balloon, the less anxiety and less negative emotions about how big the balloon gets and whether it can burst."

The results have a myriad of real life implications, Way said.

For example, paracetamol is the CDC recommended treatment for initial coronvirus symptoms.

"Perhaps someone with mild COVID-19 symptoms doesn't find it so risky to leave their house and hang out with people if they are taking acetaminophen," Way said.

"We really need more research on the effects of acetaminophen and other over-the-counter drugs on the choices and risks we take," he said.

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