That over-the-counter pain killer in your medicine cabinet may seem harmless. Maybe you’ve had the same bottle for years, and you only pop a pill when the pain gets really bad. Or maybe you have chronic pain and you take it more often than you’d like to admit. Either way, you should know that the risks of these seemingly safe painkillers are very real.
More than 80 percent of people take over-the-counter painkillers… and they may or may not realize that these so-called “safe” pain relief options can lead to a host of health issues.
When you pop an OTC painkiller you can experience side effects that range all the way from mild stomach upset to major organ failure. Some of the most common side effects include nausea, ulcers and liver damage.
And if the physical side effects weren’t bad enough, it turns out one of the most popular over-the-counter painkillers messes with your mind too.
This mind-warping painkiller is acetaminophen, and it’s found in more than 600 prescription and over-the-counter medications. In fact, acetaminophen is the most popular drug ingredient in America… but it’s best known as the active ingredient in Tylenol.
Last year, researchers at Ohio State University found that acetaminophen dulls your ability to feel emotions — including positive emotions like joy.
Not much later, another study found that acetaminophen makes you less likely to notice your mistakes… and less likely to care about your mistakes when you do notice them. Now the latest research says acetaminophen causes yet another bizarre mental side effect…
It robs you of your ability to feel empathy for other people.
Researchers at Ohio State University found that when you take acetaminophen, you don’t care as much about the misfortunes of those around you.
“These findings suggest other people’s pain doesn’t seem as big of a deal to you when you’ve taken acetaminophen,” said Dominik Mischkowski, co-author of the study and a former Ph.D. student at Ohio State University.
So the moral of the story is, when you pop a Tylenol you’re killing much more than your pain… you’re killing your emotions, your good judgement and your empathy too.
In other words, acetaminophen basically turns you into a mindless zombie devoid of your usual humanity…
And the worst part is it’s hidden in so many common products. Even if you don’t buy Tylenol, it’s in products you wouldn’t expect like Alka-Seltzer Plus, Dayquil, Excedrin, Midol, Mucinex, Nyquil, Robitussin, Sudafed, Theraflu and Vicks.
So be a savvy shopper next time you go to your drugstore. Or better yet, avoid the drugstore altogether and go the natural route. You can try white willow bark, capsaicin or arnica for safe and effective pain relief that allows you to keep your emotions and empathy intact.
“Frequent use of over-the-counter painkillers carries real risks.” The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
R. Durso, A. Luttrell, B.M. Way. “Over-the-Counter Relief From Pains and Pleasures Alike: Acetaminophen Blunts Evaluation Sensitivity to Both Negative and Positive Stimuli.” Psychological Science. 2015 Jun;26(6):750-8.
Randles, J. W.Y. Kam, S. J. Heine, M. Inzlicht and T.C. Handy. “Acetaminophen attenuates error evaluation in cortex.” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2016 February.
“When you take acetaminophen, you don’t feel others’ pain as much.” Ohio State University. https://news.osu.edu. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
“Common Medicines.” Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition. http://www.knowyourdose.org. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
Source: Easy Health Options