December 19, 2008

Study: No real ‘cure’ for hangover

There may seem to be countless recommendations on how to prevent or cure a hangover but U.S. researchers say there is no evidence any of them work.

Rachel C. Vreeman of the Children's Health Services Research at Indiana University School of Medicine and Aaron E. Carroll of the Indiana University School of Medicine said the Internet provides endless options for preventing or treating alcohol hangovers such as taking aspirin and eating bananas.

The researchers did a systematic review of randomized trials evaluating medical interventions for preventing or treating hangovers found no effective interventions in either traditional or complementary medicine.

While a few small studies using unvalidated symptom scores showed minor improvements, the conclusion of the exhaustive review was that propranolol, tropisetron, tolfenamic acid, fructose or glucose, and dietary supplements including borage, artichoke, prickly pear, and Vegemite all failed to cure hangovers.

While more recent studies in rats show some potential for new products to alter mechanisms associated with hangovers, humans also face risks when using certain hangover cures.

A hangover is caused by excess alcohol consumption so the most effective way to avoid a hangover is to consume alcohol only in moderation or not at all, the researchers said.

The findings are published in the British Medical Journal.