A new study says that acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol, turns down your pleasure sensitivity while it beats back your physical pain. In other words, acetaminophen mutes more than just that throbbing in your elbow–it takes a bite out of your joy. The new info is unlikely to discourage Tylenol takers, whose joy is usually already well mitigated by the pounding headache or low back spasm they’re taking the Tylenol for in the first place.
The study doesn’t just reveal a lower receptivity to pleasure in those taking acetaminophen. The drug also apparently eases bad stimuli. Acetaminophen keeps a user away from the edges of his emotional range and closer to the middle, with less variation. In an experiment for the study, users looked at photos considered positive and negative. The subjects taking acetaminophen found the positive less positive and the negative less negative.