Hangover Remedy: Caffeine and Ibuprophen

Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia recently discovered that a mixture of caffeine and ibuprophen (Advil) is an excellent remedy for the hangover blues.  Their study, reported in the January 11, 2011 issue of New Scientist, confirmed previous studies at Harvard University that found that the caffeine in coffee and anti-inflammatory ingredients in ibuprophen and other anti-inflammatory painkillers neutralized the common, unpleasant after-effects of drinking ethanol.

The researchers explained that hangover headaches and other painful symtoms are caused by acetate, a chemical which is produced by the body after drinking alcohol.  Caffeine and anti-inflammatory drugs that were given in the study to eliminate alcohol-induced headaches worked by blocking the production of and effects of acetate.  Acetate levels spike about four hours after drinking booze.  So, if you want to try this hangover remedy, take caffeine and ibuprophen about four hours after you drink, says Professor Michael Oshinsky, leader of the research team, when acetate levels begin to spike. 

The next time you go to a party and expect to drink a fair amount of booze, remember to set an alarm for four hours after you expect your party to end and have coffee or caffeine pills and ibuprophen already prepared.

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