Hangover Prevention and Treatment
From Spencer's Drug Wiki
Pharmacology of Ethanol
|GABAA||Positive allosteric modulator||
At higher doses:
|NMDA||Negative allosteric modulator
At higher doses:
|Glycine||Positive and negative allosteric modulator
|AMPA||Negative allosteric modulator*|
|Kainate||Negative allosteric modulator*|
|α7 Nicotinic-Acetylcholine (nACh)||Positive and negative allosteric modulator|
|5HT3||Positive allosteric modulator*
|L-type calcium channel||Blocker|
* Observed only at higher doses.
Before / during / immediately after drinking
- Lots of water is the most effective single way to prevent (or lessen the severity of) a hangover.
- Ginger: 5HT3 receptor antagonist. Prevents nausea. Directly counteracts 5HT3 potentiation by ethanol. Ginger tea or ginger supplements have the greatest effect, but ginger ale is also effective.
- Antihistamine antiemetic: diphenhydramine, dimenhydrinate, meclizine. Dimenhydrinate may be optimal due to the 8-chlorotheophyllene.
- Proton pump inhibitor: omeprazole (Prilosec), lanzoprazole (Prevacid)
- H2 antagonist: famotidine (Pepsid), ranitidine (Zantac)
- Vitamin B complex to counter deficiencies that may result from alcohol use
- Vitamin C in ester form, unless stomach is irritated by ascorbic acid
- Ibuprofen or naproxen. Naproxen has the advantage of a longer duration of action, but also has a higher (but low) risk of stomach bleeding. Naproxen is preferred unless one has a sensitive stomach.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) acts as a general analgesic and prevents inflammation. It may also support the immune system.
- Tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) (dronabinol) if one is used to its effects. It should be noted that, provided a reliable dosage is possible (high quality extract or a pharmaceutical product like Marinol or Sativex), THC produces beneficial antiemetic effects before it begins to have significant pyschoactive effects. A dose of 2.5 mg to 5 mg is effective in treating nausea in most individuals, while a dose needed to get a "high" usually ranges from 10 mg to 25 mg or higher.
- Magnesium: may prevent cramping of smooth muscle in the GI tract
- Dihydromyricetin (ampelopsin) taken after drinking has been shown to reduce the effects of alcohol.
Morning after drinking
- Caffeine, unless stomach is sensitive
- Bismuth subalicylate (Pepto Bismol™)
- Glucose/fructose/phosphoric acid (Emetol™)
- Ibuprofen. Naproxen or aspirin also work, but carry a higher risk of GI irritation
- Acetaminophen/paracetamol, unless alcohol is still having an effect (never stress liver while drunk)
- Codeine, unless prone to opioid-induced nausea
- Repeated from first list:
- Antihistamine antiemetics (unless prone to drowsiness)
- Proton pump inhibitors
- H2 antagonists
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C ester