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April 18, 2015

Tylenol may dull positive emotions

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Tylenol's main ingredient may dull positive emotions Paul Sakuma/AP

This file photo made June 30, 2009, shows Tylenol Extra Strength in Palo Alto, Calif.

According to a study from Ohio State University, the pain reliever acetaminophen may be making you less responsive to good feelings.

The study surveyed how respondents reacted to very positive images and very disturbing images while on the drug, and found that those on acetaminophen responded with less strong emotions than those not on it. Participants who were given an acetaminophen dosage showed blunted responses to the images, showing reduced reactions when it came to both positive feelings and negative feelings.

Acetaminophen is in over 600 medicines in the United States and is the main ingredient in Tylenol, the over the counter pain reliever that about 52 million Americans take each week.

The study's researchers said that most of the respondents on acetaminophen were not aware that they were responding to the images differently than normal. According to the study, this is the first time this side effect has been reported concerning the drug.

Tylenol has been found to reduce social pains in some studies, however this new discover may suggest that the painkiller may reduce social joys as well.

Questions regarding the effectiveness of acetaminophen have been brought up in previous research. A 2014 study found that it was not successful in treating back pain in participants, while the safety of the drug has been recently called in to question.

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