Do hangover pills really work?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 12.03.2022

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14 January 2022, 09:00

A hangover that develops after heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages is known to many firsthand. At the same time, some people feel so bad that the next morning after drinking, they first of all wander to the nearest pharmacy for anti-hangover drugs. Scientists tried to figure out their effectiveness - and were surprised.

Experts from the UK, representing the National Narcological Center at the Royal School of London, have evaluated well-known hangover drugs that are popular among the townsfolk. As a result, it was found that most of these funds - just a placebo.

During the study, more than two dozen scientific papers were studied, analyzing the effect on the human body of popular anti-hangover components - L-cysteine, clove extract, Korean ginseng, Chinese pear. In total, the effect of more than twenty drugs was analyzed. Four hundred volunteers took part in the project. It is important to note that the effect of popular analgesics such as acetylsalicylic acid and paracetamol has not been evaluated.

According to the results of the study, it was found that clove extract had a relatively noticeable effect: tablets and liquids with this component alleviated the hangover picture by about 19% (for participants in the experiment after drinking alcohol).

Experts believe that the information obtained during the study is not entirely correct. Thus, the number of volunteers was relatively small, among the participants there were no people over 65 and women. The initially negative effect of anti-hangover drugs on the body has not been studied either (and many experts point out that these drugs are harmful to health). So, some anti-hangover medications aggravate headaches, cause nausea, and even a strong allergic reaction. Unfortunately, the vast majority of such products offered over the counter in pharmacies are not drugs, but biologically active supplements, consisting mainly of herbal mixtures and extracts.

Scientists explain: as for a hangover, it is easier to prevent it in advance than to treat it. It is optimal to abstain from alcohol during the feast, or drink alcohol in moderation. And with the development of a hangover syndrome, you should take several tablets of activated charcoal (1 tablet per 10 kg of body weight), drink a sufficient amount of clean drinking water during the day. With a headache, you can take a tablet of acetylsalicylic acid, and with severe intoxication, an enema will help. And even better - do not self-medicate and, if possible, consult a doctor.

The results of the study are published on the page THEGUARDIAN

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