Treatment and prevention of alcohol hangover

Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2010 Jun;3(2):103-9. doi: 10.2174/1874473711003020103.


The search for alcohol hangover cures is as old as alcohol itself. Many cures and prophylactic agents are available, but scientific evidence for their effectiveness is generally lacking. This review summarizes and discusses the limited number of studies that examined the effectiveness of alcohol hangover treatments. From these studies it must be concluded that most remedies do not significantly reduce overall hangover severity. Some compounds reduce specific symptoms such as vomiting and headache, but are not effective in reducing other common hangover symptoms such as drowsiness and fatigue. Hangover cures that showed positive effects were those inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis or accelerating alcohol metabolism. Future studies should elucidate the pathology of alcohol hangover. Until then, it is unlikely that an effective hangover cure will be developed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / etiology
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / therapy*
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Complementary Therapies
  • GABA Modulators / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Prostaglandin Antagonists / therapeutic use


  • Analgesics
  • Antiemetics
  • GABA Modulators
  • Nootropic Agents
  • Prostaglandin Antagonists