Paracetamol WARNING: Study reveals strange side effect from painkiller 'could impact millions'

Paracetamol is the most commonly used painkiller in the UK
Paracetamol is the most commonly used painkiller in the UK

People taking paracetamol are risking their health more than those taking a placebo, a study found

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Paracetamol could produce a strange side effect that alters your perception of risk, scientists have found.

A team of scientists at the Ohio State University in the US found people are risking their health more than those given a placebo, according to a new study.

Neuroscientist Baldwin Way, co-author of the study, said: "Acetaminophen seems to make people feel less negative emotion when they consider taking risky activities - they just don't feel as scared.

"With nearly 25 per cent of the population in the US taking acetaminophen each week, reduced risk perceptions and increased risk-taking could have important effects on society."

The study was published by journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

“If you’re risk-averse, you may pump a few times and then decide to cash out because you don’t want the balloon to burst and lose your money,” Way added.

A study has warned about the potential health risks posed by paracetamol.
A study has warned about the potential health risks posed by paracetamol.

“But for those who are on acetaminophen, as the balloon gets bigger, we believe they have less anxiety and less negative emotion about how big the balloon is getting and the possibility of it bursting.”

Brits tend to heavily trust paracetamol, with around six point three tonnes of paracetamol sold in the country each year, working out to 70 paracetamol per year for each UK adult.

The NHS have warned about the risk of taking too much of the painkiller, saying: “Do not take paracetamol with other medicines containing paracetamol because there is a risk of overdose.

“Paracetamol is safe to take during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, at recommended doses.

“It may not be safe for you to drink alcohol with paracetamol if you have certain health conditions, such as liver problems. Check the leaflet that comes with your medicine.”