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No Cure for Hangovers

Scientists at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in the UK, and Utrech in the Netherlands, have examined studies of the effectiveness of hangover treatments and concluded that the most effective way to avoid hangover symptoms is to "practise abstinence or moderation."

Max Pittler, Joris Verster and Edzard Ernst reviewed published reports of research into various treatments for alcohol hangovers. They included only studies that met the gold standard for clinical research: the double blind randomised controlled trial comparing the treatment with either a placebo or another treatment.

Eight different treatments were studied: propranolol, tropisetron, tolfenamic acid, fructose or glucose, and the dietary supplements Borago officinalis (borage), Cynara scolymus (artichoke), Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear), and a yeast based preparation.

The findings "show that no compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover."

The findings are published in the British Medical Journal, vol. 331