Tylenol reduces empathy

A shocking new study has shown that while Tylenol is killing your pain, it is also killing your soul. And it’s not the first study to find this.



In 2015, a surprising study was published in the British Medical Journal. The results were surprising and terrifying and should have changed the way we see Tylenol. The study found that Tylenol dulls human emotions.

And now a new study has added more evidence to the remarkable realization that when you take Tylenol, you don’t just kill your pain, you kill part of what makes you human. That’s because, while Tylenol kills your ability to feel pain, it kills your ability to feel other people’s pain and pleasure as well.

An analgesic is a substance that kills pain. The surprising results of the new study led the researchers to call Tylenol a “social analgesic.” In their double-blind study, 114 undergraduate students were given either a placebo or 1000mg of Tylenol. An hour later, they read stories about the uplifting experiences of other people. Upon reading the stories, their responses were evaluated in order to evaluate their ability to empathize with others.

The shocking finding was that Tylenol significantly reduced the pleasure they felt at other people’s pleasure and significantly reduced empathic feelings. They were able to perceive that the people in the story felt positive or felt pleasure, unlike the placebo group, they just did not empathize or feel pleasure for them.

The researchers speculate that this psychological soul blunting effect of Tylenol may be because the part of the brain that Tylenol affects to blunt your feeling of pain may be the same part of the brain that is used to feel other people’s pain.

The researchers conclude that Tylenol (acetaminophen) reduces empathy for the pleasurable experiences of others and that this finding may raise serious concerns about the impact taking Tylenol has on society.

Now there are not only serious physical reasons to think twice about taking pharmaceutical painkillers, there are equally serious psychological ones.


Front Psychol 2019;10:538


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