Every year, thousands of Americans suffer liver failure – and more of them come from one medication than all other medications combined.
That medication? Acetaminophen.
In fact, each year acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol) sends more than 50,000 people to the emergency room – resulting in at least 450 deaths each year as a result of the resulting liver failure.
Just as terrible? Acetaminophen’s effects on brains.
In fact, a recent joint study from the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia looked more closely at the neurological effects of Tylenol. Researchers explain that since pain and decision making (especially when evaluating what to do after a mistake) are both handled in the same part of the brain, acetaminophen might affect both (since we know it affects pain).
When researchers asked test subjects to choose the correct target between two choices in rapid succession, they tested the brain response in that area of the brain.
When a mistake was made, those who took acetaminophen showed less brain reaction and stimulus after making a mistake. Clearly, cognitive control and ability is impaired when taking acetaminophen.
We know we won’t be taking any more Tylenol any time soon! Will you?