Side effects of these drugs are responsible for at least 100,000 hospitalizations and 17,000 deaths per year in the United States.
A 2016 study suggests that acetaminophen, an ingredient in more than 600 different over-the-counter and prescription medications, makes those who take it not only less sensitive to their own pain, but less empathic to physical and social pain suffered by others. A 2009 analysis that found acetaminophen may lead people to make unduly harsh moral judgments. Other recent studies found people who took acetaminophen were less capable of detecting errors when they saw them and that acetaminophen in Tylenol may blunt takers’ emotional sensitivity overall. Acetaminophen is present in drugs taken by 23 percent, or 52 million U.S. adults each week, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. It has been long known that taking too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage.