Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center

Font Size

No Hangover Cure

If There's a Cure for Hangover, Science Hasn't Found It
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Dec. 22, 2005 -- If you are reading this with one bleary eye, with pain in your head, and a vulture-like taste in your desert-dry mouth, this won't be good news.

Science has never found a hangover cure that works.

Sure, everyone has a pet hangover remedy. And the Internet hums with hope of hangover help (cash up front, please). Do any of these things -- or anything at all -- cure a hangover?

A team of medical researchers including Max H. Pittler, MD, of the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, U.K., tried to find out. They consulted the experts. They looked in every medical journal, and at every scientific meeting report, in every language. And here's what they found out:

"No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover," Pittler and colleagues write in the Dec. 24-31 issue of the BMJ.

From Aspirin to Prickly Pears

Pittler's team found pitifully few clinical trials of hangover cures. These trials tested dietary supplements such as prickly pear, borage, yeast, and artichoke. They tested the drug Inderal and fruit sugar and an antivomiting drug called tropisetron (Navoban).

A couple of the cures seemed to help a few symptoms. But the results were far from convincing, Pittler and colleagues say.

The biggest problem seems to be that doctors have never come up with a clear-cut, testable description of hangover symptoms. And exactly how drinking too much alcohol causes hangovers isn't entirely clear.

"Until the pathology of alcohol hangover is understood in more detail, an effective intervention is likely to remain elusive," Pittler and colleagues write.

There is, however, an absolutely certain way to prevent hangovers.

"Practice abstinence or moderation," the researchers advise.

Today on WebMD

child ignored by parents
prescription pain pills
Woman experiencing withdrawal symptoms
Teen girl huddled outside house
Man with glass of scotch
overturned shot glass
assortment of medication
Depressed and hurting