A new study is stating that painkillers are doing a lot more than dulling physical pain, they’re numbing your emotions as well.
The study, that was published in Psychological Science, included Tylenol as well as other over-the-counter acetaminophen medications.
To come to this finding, researches gave 82 study participants a pill, half receiving acetaminophen and the other half receiving a placebo.
An hour later, the subjects were shown a range of emotional pictures.
Some of the photos were meant to provoke sad emotions, such as starving children, while others pictures, like children playing with animals, were meant to elicit a happier response.
Those subjects that were given an acetaminophen product showed less emotional sensitivity to both sorrowful and joyful photos than those that were given the placebo.
The researchers described those given painkillers as “more neutral and less emotionally intense.”
Geoffrey Durso, lead author of the study, says of the study, “This means that using Tylenol or similar products might have broader consequences than previously thought. Rather than just being a pain reliever, acetaminophen can be seen as an all-purpose emotion reliever."
It is admitted, though, that the study was small and more research is needed.