Last month, the Daily Dose reported on findings that acetaminophen has been linked to a dampening of positive and negative emotional responses in some people. [Click here to read.] Now, a new study reported in the June edition of Journal of World Psychiatry finds an association between the use of over-the-counter pain medications and sedatives and incidence of homicide. The study, authored by researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, examined the drug registry records of 1,000 Finnish homicide convicts and found elevated risk for homicide among users of sedatives, antidepressants, and opioids. But the strongest and most surprising correlation, at over 200% increased risk, was found in users of common anti-inflammatory painkillers including ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
Lead author Jari Tiihonen, MD, PhD, a professor in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, commented that one explanation for the findings may be the documented effects of some of the drugs, like benzodiazepines, on reducing impulse control in a percentage of users. With respect to the correlation to anti-inflammatory drugs, he referenced the earlier study on effects of acetaminophen noted above.
For other concerns about the use of acetaminophen, including its use during pregnancy, click here.
Read more about the findings in a news report from the Karolinska Institutet, with link to the journal article, here.