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
doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7531.1515