Do hangover pills work?

I saw an ad on TV for some pills called ‘Chasers’ which are supposed to counter the effects of a hangover. Do pills like this really work?

I know there are ways to help make a hangover wear off faster, but it seems like to avoid a hangover you need to drink LESS alcohol the previous night. The wierd thing about my own body personally is that I can have 3 glasses of wine one night and be totally unaffected, but another night have the same amount of alcohol, get very drunk somehow, and wake up feeling like I’d been repeatedly run over by a dump truck. These pills imply that if you take them there is no hangover at all, which in a way sounds appealing since even having one drink can have an effect on me sometimes. With the way my body is, I have no way of predicting my limit because sometimes I can get very ill from drinking a small amount of alcohol, and other nights I can drink like a fish with no adverse effects the next day. :confused:

I’d be inclined to doubt the effectiveness of such pills. Hangover isn’t caused by any one thing, but can be caused by any one or combination of things, such as dehydration, impurities in the beverages and how much and how fast you consume the alcohol. I’ve noticed if I stop drinking for a while, I’ll be more prone to hangover, but if I begin drinking regularly again, the severity and duration of them decreases or ceases entirely. I’ve read that taking a large dose of aspirin or acetominophen before going to sleep can help, and it does seem to to a degree, IME. But I’ve never found anything that always works.

Took XO3 and found it didn’t do much if anything. Still had quite the wine-over the next day.

I swear by two large glasses of water - when I remember. They’ll still help in the morning but not as much. A large part of the physical symptoms of a hangover are from dehydration.

My friends have always prescribed a snack of bread [to supposedly soak up the alcohol in your stomach] and as much water [to wash it out] as you can stand to drink. I’ve followed it and never had any significant hangovers. (I’m also a complete and total lightweight.)

My housemate is convinced that RU-21 works to prevent his hangovers. I am more sceptical, given the snake oil nature of its packaging (it promotes healthy DNA cells! Stops mutagenesis!). However, I don’t drink so I haven’t tested them myself. They allegedly block the formation of acetaldehyde, which the manufacturers claim causes hangovers. The only downside (assuming they work, obviously) is that you have to take one tablet per 2 units of alcohol consumed before you drink, which amounts to a lot of pill-popping on a heavy night out.

Back to my housemate as a data point; I think it’s entirely the placebo effect in combination with the large amounts of water he consumes, not to mention a reasonable amount of vitamin C in the tablets. That, and he’s usually still drunk the next morning anyway. But who knows, he could be telling the truth - give 'em a whirl.

Just drink a glass of water before you go to bed. Better yet, keep a glass of water around while you’re drinking. This has always worked for me.

I thought I’d heard otherwise of course you might be right (you always are).

Anyways, regarding the OP, I tried that Chaser stuff with a few friends and none of us thought it was worth the cost. It helped a bit, but not enough to justify the expense. I’ve found that having a few swigs of Gatorade before bed, and chugging the rest upon waking works just fine. YMMV

Another thing that might help beforehand… drink some milk. Not even very much… maybe just enough to put in, say, a White Russian? :smiley:

And then polish off copious amounts of water 'fore retiring, too.

I’ve also found that I can usually avoid hangover by not going to bed whilst at the apex of mine intoximacation. If I give it another two hours, and fall asleep on the comedown (in combination with the aforementioned strategem), I wake up feeling chipper.

Once you have a hangover… well… I hate to mention illegalities, here, but I have had experiences where smoking a bowl helps with hangover nausea (doesn’t really help headaches, though).

Same thought here. I was always under the impression that alcohol and acetominophen were a bad combination.

Gatorade may work better than water, as its designed for people who are dehydrated.

Luckily i dont get hangovers (well just once). Maybe its genetics, maybe its because i always drink so i will be sober at least 4 hours before bed so i can stay hydrated.

I’ve never tried it, but I doubt they work. Isn’ t there also a rule about not combining Medication and Alcohol?

Water is pretty much the best idea to prevent or get rid of a hangover, other then limiting your alcohol intake.

It is, but apparently only for regular drinkers. The combination can cause liver failure. There is a warning on the bottle now to not take it if you drink more than three drinks every day.

I’ve also found that I can usually avoid hangover by not going to bed whilst at the apex of mine intoximacation. If I give it another two hours, and fall asleep on the comedown (in combination with the aforementioned strategem), I wake up feeling chipper.


Yes, that’s very true. Otherwise I second the drink water thing.

And I’ve found that The Greatest Cure for hangover once you have then is Excedrin. I get this “imported” for me by American friends, as you can’t get it in Ireland and have the hardest time hanging onto it as everyone wants them once they’ve tried them once.

As for the tablets. My father swears by eating a banana and taking some vitamin B-complex before going out. I think that’s roughly the same kind of thing as the tablets but a lot cheaper.

I love Excedrin. It’s basically aspirin, acetominophen and caffeine. In the deep South US, the same formula is used in BC Powder (although I don’t like that anywhere near as much).

I once bought something called Hangover Helpr, a small packet of pills containing aspirin, acetominophen, caffeine and Vitamin B. It worked pretty well.

I don’t drink anymore (so I can’t comment on the alcohol+acetominaphen problem), but all these remedies are great for my sinusitis.

read the ingredients on the label of the Chaser package…you are buying expensive Tums.

Oh, studies have linked the chronic use of acetominophen and alcohol to liver damage. If you drink a lot and often, you should probably avoid acetominphen. But I don’t drink enough to get hung over often enough to worry about it. Besides, if you get that drunk that often, you probably have bigger worries, anyway. :smiley:

I’m going to agree with Q.E.D. here: Hangover’s are infact caused by many things happening at once. Dehydration being a large factor here - a lot of water is leached from the body in the kidneys in order to expell the alcohol, but in addition to that, a large amount of necessary mineral components (read: vitamins) are also lost in the processing of alcohol from the digestive system. It will make a primary pass through the liver (assuming that it isn’t directly absorbed through the stomach lining. If a meal high in fats is eaten shortly before consuming the alcohol, the lining of the stomach binds this fat, and prevents the early absorption of the alcohol - it has to wait until it’s in the intestines before it’s absorbed). Remeber that the liver only has it’s own maximal capacity to detoxify the alcohol, and so a fraction of it makes it into the blood. That’s why, while drinking for a while, it will suddenly ‘hit’ you: the liver has reached it’s carrying capacity for detoxification and the remaining alcohol bypasses this and enters the blood. Alcohol travels through the blood stream, causing it’s known effects on the brain, and eventually reaches the kidneys, and…well I won’t bore you with more detail, suffice it to say that a number of minerals and ‘electrolytes’ (basically a fancy name for ions like sodium and potassium) are leached out of the body to facilitate the transport of the alcohol out of the body, leaving you largly nutritionally devoid and dehydrated. This causes the lethargy, with the headache being caused by a number of reasons. The best remedy then, is a pain killer (not a solution since you’ll still feel like a sloth, it just deadens the feelings of pain, not solve the causes), water and a couple of multivitamins (which are really what the Hangover pills are) or some gatorade. The sooner after drinking the better, you might be able to stem the cause, and lessen the effects. Hope it helps.

P.S.: Q.E.D. - how does the different types of alcohol affect you? It’s all ethanol after all, right?

Great: I’m always a day late and a dollar short here. QED is right again, exposing your liver to any amount of toxin over a long enough period of time will do it damage. It’s an amazing organ, every cell in it can perform the function of any other cell within the liver - an unbelievable feat if you know anything about the normal tissue specialization of the other organs. The liver can process the large amount of toxins you get exposed to every day, and not just with reguards to what you drink: Everything you eat, and all the stuff you breath (assuming it can pass the avoluar:blood barrier) eventually makes it’s way to the liver to be processed out. But even it has it’s limits: large amounts of alcohol, drugs, or even accelerated cellular functions can damage it over the course of time. By accelerated cell fxns I just mean, for instance, stuff like ketone bodies produced from the over metabolization of proteins - note to weightlifter types, the extra protein you’re eating can kill your liver by producing a toxic amount of protein metabolites. The key is to remember that you’ll be fine - everything in moderation, it’s excess that will kill ya!

it’s not the type of alcohol, it’s the type of alchoholic beverage that makes the difference. Beers, wines and spirits all have different types of impurities and/or chemical additives (many wines contain sulphites, for example.) I’ve read that these additives or impurities can make a difference in the nature of your hangover. As you point out, though, it’s the dehydration that appears to be the single largest factor.