Does paracetamol make you careless? |

In the study, volunteers were asked to virtually inflate a balloon – the stronger it was, the more points they got. However, if it burst, the profit was lost. Some people took 1,000 milligrams of paracetamol, which is the maximum single dose for adults. This changed their willingness to take risks compared to people in a control group who only received a placebo: Those who took paracetamol inflated their balloons more and popped them more often.

Baldwin Way, a neuroscientist at Ohio State University, said: “We think that as the balloon got bigger, those taking paracetamol experienced less negative emotions and less fear that the balloon might burst. When the fear of bursting becomes too great, the participants stop the experiment. Acetaminophen can reduce this anxiety, leading to more risk-taking.

The research team reached similar results in two surveys in which people with and without paracetamol were asked how big the risk was in different situations, e.g. B. betting a day’s earnings on a sporting event, bungee jumping or driving without a seat belt. Again, acetaminophen appeared to increase the risk, but the effect was small.

Way speculated that this could have implications in “real” life: “Perhaps it will be less risky for a person with mild symptoms of Covid-19 to leave the house and interact with people if they take paracetamol.” But he warned: “We need further research into the effects of paracetamol and other over-the-counter medicines on our decisions and risks.”

What: DOI 10.1093/scan/nsaa108

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