The most widely used OTC pain medicine, acetaminophen, has been linked to a decrease in empathy for others. A study conducted at The Ohio State University showed that students given the drug rated other’s pain less than students given a placebo. The drug has also been linked to a decrease in positive feelings. Researchers intend to test ibuprofen for the same effects.
- A recent study suggests that taking acetaminophen may not only dull your physical pain, but your ability to feel others’ pain as well.
- “We don’t know why acetaminophen is having these effects, but it is concerning,” said researcher Baldwin Way, PhD, in a press release. “Empathy is important.
- In an earlier study, Way and his co-author Dominik Mischkowski, PhD, found that acetaminophen may have another unexpected side effect: dulling positive emotions, like joy.
“A recent study suggests that taking acetaminophen may not only dull your physical pain, but your ability to feel others’ pain as well.”