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Acetaminophen and Social Processes

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Baldwin Way, Ohio State University Identifier:
First received: April 7, 2014
Last updated: December 21, 2015
Last verified: December 2015

Recent research has identified heightened sensitivity to social rejection as a core feature of BPD. Rejection sensitivity can trigger the aggressive, impulsive, and self-injurious behaviors characteristic of the disorder.

Therefore targeting therapy towards the reduction of rejection sensitivity may improve the low rates of effectiveness of current pharmacological and behavioral therapies. Therefore, this proposal tests a theoretically-based pharmacological approach that specifically targets the heightened sensitivity to rejection experienced by BPD patients.

In prior research with normal controls, it was shown that chronic treatment with the physical pain-killer acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) reduced both neural responses to social rejection (using fMRI) as well as self-reported feelings of rejection in a daily diary study.

It is the aim of this research project to determine if the over-the-counter analgesic, acetaminophen (active ingredient in Tylenol), can reduce symptoms and behaviors in BPD patients. The goal of this proposal is to use an open-label design to determine if acetaminophen improves symptoms in BPD patients.

Condition Intervention Phase
Borderline Personality Disorder Drug: Acetaminophen Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Acetaminophen and Social Pain in Borderline Personality Disorder

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Baldwin Way, Ohio State University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Change from baseline in symptom reports on the PAI-BOR at week 6 [ Time Frame: Baseline, Week 6 ]
    Symptom reports on the PAI-BOR.

  • Change from baseline in symptom severity on the Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder [ Time Frame: Baseline, Week 6 ]
    Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Symptom Reports [ Time Frame: Baseline, weeks, 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 8. ]

    Each week participants will be emailed a link to complete that will have three surveys.

    1. The Beck Depression Inventory
    2. The Beck Anxiety Inventory
    3. The Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (Aggression and Interpersonal Sensitivity Subscales).

    This weekly survey report will also be sent to the participants once after the completion of pharmacotherapy (at the two weeks post cessation treatment).

  • Daily Diary [ Time Frame: Daily for week 0,1,2, and 3 ]
    The importance of these measures will be to assess how rejected, aggressive, and social participants have been in order to determine if acetaminophen affects these proclivities. Participants will report on: hurt feelings, rejection, affect, aggressive feelings, impulsive behaviors, alcohol use, sleep, social interactions, perceived stress, self-esteem

Estimated Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: September 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 2016 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Acetaminophen 1000mg
Acetaminophen 1000mg capsule orally three times a day
Drug: Acetaminophen
Other Name: Tylenol
Experimental: Acetaminophen 500mg
500mg Acetaminophen orally three times a day
Drug: Acetaminophen
Other Name: Tylenol


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 50 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • clinical diagnosis of borderline personality disorder
  • 18 years or older
  • if on psychiatric medication, must be on a stable dose
  • able to swallow tablets

Exclusion Criteria:

  • current, primary substance abuse, particularly alcoholism
  • current eating disorder
  • history or current psychotic disorder
  • suicidal ideation or behavior requiring imminent inpatient treatment
  • pregnancy
  • Participants whose medication has not been stable for more than 4 weeks
  • Impaired liver function (> 1.25x the upper limit of the reference range)
  • Conditions that can affect immune system functioning.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT02108990

United States, Ohio
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio, United States, 43210
Sponsors and Collaborators
Ohio State University
National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS)
Principal Investigator: Baldwin M Way, Ph.D. Ohio State University
Principal Investigator: Jennifer S. Cheavens, Ph.D. Ohio State University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Baldwin Way, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University Identifier: NCT02108990     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2012HO294
KL2RR025754-04 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: April 7, 2014
Last Updated: December 21, 2015

Keywords provided by Baldwin Way, Ohio State University:
borderline personality disorder
social pain

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Personality Disorders
Borderline Personality Disorder
Mental Disorders
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antipyretics processed this record on July 19, 2017