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America's Most Common Drug Ingredient Could Be Ruining Your Acting Career

Acetaminophen could be destroying your acting skills.

Actors are able to bring scenes to life by tapping into experiences in their life and reimagining them for a particular movie or TV scene. However, a popular medication may be making actors less talented. In a paper published online this week, scientists claim that acetaminophen, Tylenol's main ingredient, makes people more likely to think that other people's pain is not a big deal. Researchers from the National Institute of Health and Ohio State University published their finding in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience after studying the effects of the drug on between 80 and about 120 college students across three different experiments. According to reports, one group of students drank a liquid with 1,000 mg of acetaminophen, while another group took a placebo. An hour later, everyone read short stories about situations such as feeling emotional pain from the death of a parent, or physical pain from a knife attack. The students who drank the acetaminophen assigned lower ratings for perceived pain and distress than the students who didn't. Several other studies were conducted that all showed the painkiller assigned lower pain ratings. However, it is important to note that the subject sample size was pretty small and the team does not know why this actually happens. Researchers theorize that there is an overlap in our ability to experience pain and our ability to empathize with others. But, this is not the first time researchers found acetaminophen does more than help relieve pain. Studies have shown that it makes people less likely to feel joy and that it can help help treat anxiety and extreme paranoia. Given how common acetaminophen is, it's worth looking into what researchers have called its “broader social side effects” and whether other painkillers could have similar results. Next time you have an acting job, you may want to skip taking a painkiller, it may just ruining your acting career. Via Washington Post What do you think? Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.