In a randomized, controlled trial, 85 people took 1,000 milligrams of Tylenol or a placebo. After an hour, researchers showed them several images in random order. The images ranged from extremely pleasant (children laughing in a park with kittens) to neutral (a rolling pin on a table) to extremely unpleasant (an overflowing toilet).

Compared with those who took the placebo, those who took Tylenol were about 20% less likely to rate images as extremely pleasant and 10% less likely to rate them extremely unpleasant.

Previous research has suggested that Tylenol reduces pain by acting on the insula, a part of the brain that, among other functions influences social emotions.

“We don’t want to make any recommendations concerning acetaminophen use,” said the lead author, Geoffrey R.O. Durso, a doctoral student in psychology at Ohio State University. “These are modest differences in a very controlled setting. We recommend following the advice of your doctor with regard to managing pain with Tylenol.”

The study appears online in Psychological Science.

nytimeshealth.com
April 20, 2015

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our posts straight to your inbox! We promise, no spam ever.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This