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Sorry, Celebrants: Hangover Cures Don't Work

Researchers discount effectiveness of eight widely promoted hangover interventions

MONDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that there is no conventional or complementary intervention that will prevent or treat a hangover, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

Max H. Pittler, M.D., of the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in Exeter, U.K., and colleagues identified 15 potentially relevant trials and reviewed eight randomized controlled trials of eight different interventions: the beta blocker propranolol; the anti-nausea drug tropisetron; the painkiller tolfenamic acid; fructose or glucose; and the dietary supplements borage, artichoke, prickly pear and a yeast-based preparation.

The researchers found that significant inter-group differences for overall symptom scores and individual symptoms were reported only for tolfenamic acid, gamma-linolenic acid from B. officinalis and a yeast-based preparation. But they concluded that no compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating a hangover.

"Until the pathology of alcohol hangover is understood in more detail, an effective intervention is likely to remain elusive," the authors state. "The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol-induced hangover is thus to practice abstinence or moderation."

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