The world’s most commonly used painkiller, one of the most widely used medicines, could do much more than relieve headaches, new findings suggest.
Paracetamol, also known by its brand name Tylenol or Panadol and widely used under brand names such as “Tylenol” and “Panadol,” increases risk, according to a new study measured the effect of two common painkillers on the brains of people with chronic pain.
Although the effect may be small, it is noteworthy because paracetamol is the most common active ingredient in America and is contained in over 600 different over-the-counter and prescription medications. The findings add to research suggesting that the effects of paracetamol on pain reduction can be extended to various psychological processes, reducing people’s vulnerability to hurt feelings, reducing empathy, and even blunting cognitive functions.
Panadol seems to increase the likelihood that people express negative emotions when considering risky activities, or they do not have much fear, “said lead author Dr. David G. Smith, an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Psychiatry. Similarly, the new study suggests that taking Panadol and paracetamol, another common painkiller may impair the ability to perceive and assess risks and risk-taking risk.
In an experiment with more than 500 university students, Way and his team measured how the recommended maximum adult dose of 1.5 milligrams per day of paracetamol was randomly assigned to participants at risk of developing the disease, and compared their behavior with a control group randomly given placebos. In the experiment, participants had to pump inflated balloons to earn imaginary money, and the instruction was to make as much as possible from pumping the balloons and making sure the balloon did not burst, which would cause them to lose the money. Results showed that participants who took paracetamol took twice as long to take it during exercise as the more cautious and conservative placebo participants.
Those taking paracetamol believed they had a higher risk of pumping too much, regardless of how large the balloon would be or whether it would burst. If you’re risk-averse, you might decide not to play because you don’t want the balloons to burst, and you lose the money, “Way said.
In addition to the balloon simulations, participants completed a series of tests to assess perceived risks, such as driving without a seat belt, bungee jumping – jumping off a high bridge, betting on daily income at sporting events, and driving. Based on the average results of the various tests, the team concluded that there is a strong correlation between the use of paracetamol and risk aversion, even if the observed effects may be small. In fact, the use of Panadol appeared to reduce perceived risks compared to a control group, although the same effect was not observed in a similar survey.
This could be because those taking the placebo became increasingly fearful of a possible burst as the balloon grew more extensive, the researchers explain. The behavior of taking the drug was interpreted as anxiety reduction, but its apparent risk effects were nonetheless recognized.
Paracetamol can reduce anxiety, but if the anxiety becomes too great, the process stops, increasing the risk – taking it.
Despite the severity of these findings, paracetamol remains one of the most widely used drugs in the world, considered an essential drug by the World Health Organization and recommended by the CDC as the primary drug for relieving symptoms if you believe you have coronavirus. Although studies in recent years have shown that the drug can be ineffective and sometimes outdated, scientists now have the opportunity to further investigate the role and effectiveness of paracetamol in pain relief, the team said. The drug’s side effects, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, should be treated in future research, it added.
Maybe someone with mild COVID-19 symptoms doesn’t think it’s that risky to leave the house and meet people when they’re taking paracetamol, “Way said. But given what we found about paracetamol, you might want to reconsider that advice, Way said, “Do you really need to take that risk?