Acetaminophen — commonly known as Tylenol in the US and paracetamol elsewhere — reduces people’s empathy for the pain of others, new research finds.
Acetaminophen is an ingredient in over 600 different medications, including being the main constituent of Tylenol.
The ubiquitous painkiller does not just kill pain, it also kills our fellow-feeling.
Dr Dominik Mischkowski, the study’s first author, said:
“These findings suggest other people’s pain doesn’t seem as big of a deal to you when you’ve taken acetaminophen.
Acetaminophen can reduce empathy as well as serve as a painkiller.”
Previous research has also found that the drug can reduce the positive emotions of those taking it.