A Study Finds a Surprising Connection between Common Painkillers and Willingness to Take Risks

By: | November 17th, 2022

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Acetaminophen, also called paracetamol, is a commonly used drug to treat fever and mild pain, such as headache and pain in joints and muscles.

It is the most trusted painkiller taken worldwide and the most consumed drug in the US.

But research suggests that taking this common over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication might make you more prone to risky behavior.

Researchers from The Ohio State University have highlighted the risks of having the pain reliever in your system while making everyday decisions.

Researchers found that the use of drugs led people to take more risks in their experiments

The study showed that people under the influence of acetaminophen felt less scared while considering risky activities like bungee jumping, walking home alone at night in an unsafe area, and taking a skydiving class than those who took the placebo.

The new research builds on a series of experiments involving over 545 healthy college students as participants. In one experiment, researchers measured how a dose of 1,000 mg of acetaminophen, the recommended dosage to treat headaches affected their risk-taking behavior compared to the placebo given to a control group.

The other experiment required participants to inflate a balloon with the click of a button on a computer, participant was to lose money if the balloon burst. It was noted that those who took acetaminophen inflated their balloons more times than those on placebos.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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