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 20 April 2018

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News

No evidence that hangover cures work

No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any complementary or conventional intervention is effective for treating or preventing alcohol hangover, reports this week's BMJ.

News image

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In Britain, alcohol hangovers account for about £2 billion in lost wages each year, mostly due to sickness absence.

There is a plethora of hangover cures on offer.

Dr Max Pittler and colleagues searched medical databases for randomised controlled trials of any medical intervention treating alcohol hangovers.

The research team also searched the internet, and contacted experts and manufacturers for these trials.

The team found 8 trials testing 8 different agents.

The agents included propranolol, tropisetron, tolfenamic acid, and fructose or glucose.

Encouraging findings exist for borage, and tolfenamic acid
British Medical Journal

Dietary supplements borage, artichoke, prickly pear, and a yeast based preparation was also assessed.

The team found that most trials reported no beneficial effects.

However, encouraging findings existed for borage, a yeast based preparation, and tolfenamic acid.

The researchers are confident that their search strategy located all published trials on the subject.

Dr Pittler's team commented, “We found no compelling evidence to suggest that any complementary or conventional intervention is effective for treating or preventing the alcohol hangover.”

“The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is thus to practise abstinence or moderation.”

BMJ 2005: 331: 1515-7, Embargoed until 23 December, 00:01, GMT
23 December 2005

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