The drug acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, is one of the 600 most common drugs in the United States (under the brand names Tylenol and Panadol). More than 25% of the population of this country take paracetamol weekly, the attachment to it is very high. And all the more unnerving are the findings of scientists from Ohio State University, who found that this drug affects the behavior of people, making them more reckless.
The analgesic effect of paracetamol is based on reducing the acuity of feelings, reducing the patient's anxiety. He stops worrying, calms down, stops being afraid of risks. This is where the danger lies - under the influence of the drug, a person ceases to adequately assess the risks even in the presence of direct instructions. This “fearless” behavior poses serious problems.
To test the hypothesis, the scientists took a group of 500 students, half of whom were given the maximum allowed dose of 1000 mg of paracetamol per day, the rest received a placebo. During the tests, students were asked to play a test game on a computer, in which you need to carefully pump a ball so that it does not burst, and earn points. Those who took the medicine, in pursuit of glasses, did not hesitate to pump the ball over and above, while the rest tried not to risk it and to save it.
In addition, psychologists questioned students under the influence of paracetamol and it turned out that almost everyone had lost their natural fear of jumping from a height, diving into the depths and other extreme entertainment. But not because they became bolder or believed in their own strength - no, just their perception of reality and a critical assessment of the situation were sharply dulled. None of the subjects did anything wrong during the experiments, but the discovery itself and the scale of the potential problem are of great concern to scientists.