A Pharmacist’s Guide to a Hangover

Picture this. It’s 11 a.m. and you’ve groggily woken up with a splitting headache, a nauseous stomach, and a tinge of regret. How do you cope? Do you go for the “hair of the dog” and head for a boozy brunch? Or do you reach for a NSAID and a coffee? There are no cures for the dreaded hangover, however, here are some tips that can help you try to avoid it and maybe help relieve some of the discomfort.

  1. Avoid fluids that will add to your dehydration, such as coffee or a morning Bloody Mary, and reach for the water or a sports drinks to help replenish your electrolytes (especially if you’ve been sick).
  2. Painkillers such as Ibuprofen and aspirin are known to be effective at relieving headaches. Reach for these carefully though, as they could also make any nausea you may be feeling worse.
  3. Alcohol consumption depletes your body of nutrients and vitamins, so reach for nutrient rich-foods or vitamin drinks, rather than the greasy staples you THINK will help you.
  4. Drink, drink, drink! Water, we mean. Dehydration is often one of the main causes of hangover symptoms. So keep a glass of water or OJ near you throughout the day to get yourself back on track.
  5. Remember that the NHS typically advises men and women to not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week–that’s the equivalent of six pints of beer or six glasses of wine. Try to have several days during the week without drinking to help balance the potential health risks.

Finally, when drinking, always do so responsibly! Visit Drinkaware for more information and support resources.

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