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Do Hangover “Cures” Actually Exist?

Last updated March 22, 2015

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

A hangover is the experience of feeling sick following a session of heavy alcoholic drinking.

A hangover is the experience of feeling sick following a session of heavy alcoholic drinking. Some of the symptoms of the condition include headache, nausea, dizziness, and a lack of ability to think clearly, among others. Many popular science websites and health magazines continuously propagate remedies that claim to magically help avoid hangovers. You may also come across certain claims that treat hangovers in a few minutes. However, several health authorites from various countries have warned that scientifically, there is no conclusive proof that a hangover can be cured. Although some remedies may treat individual symptoms of a hangover, like a headache, there is no cure for overall symptoms.

The best way to dodge a hangover is to avoid drinking. If avoidance is not possible, drinking alcohol on an empty stomach is not recommended. It is advised to drink water between alcoholic drinks to slow the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream.

The following are recommended for dealing with the symptoms of a hangover:

  1. For headaches, take painkillers that will not harm the stomach; avoid aspirin.
  2. Drink water or bland fluids.
  3. Drink Buoillion soup, which is considered safe for a fragile stomach.
  4. Sugary foods ease the symptoms; take only if the stomach can withstand it.
  5. Rest/Sleep till the symptoms subside.

Being aware of your body and drinking responsibly is the best approach for alcohol consumption.


C Verster, J., & Penning, R. (2010). Treatment and prevention of alcohol hangover. Current drug abuse reviews3(2), 103-109.

Hangovers. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hangovers/basics/symptoms/con-20025464

Hangover cures. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2015, from http://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hangover-cures

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2015, from http://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/buystoreservesafefood/ucm085385.htm

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: March 22, 2015
Last updated: March 22, 2015