Hangover pills are a type of medication designed to prevent the negative effects of drinking from occurring. Most hangover pills are designed to be taken before a night of heavy drinking, but some claim to be effective after drinking has occurred. Many of these pills include activated carbon, which is said to line the stomach and prevent absorption of certain chemicals that cause hangovers. These chemicals are often called impurities when looking at advertising for this type of product, but they can go by other names as well. The claims made by hangover pill companies have often not been verified by any regulatory agency, as these pills are usually marketed as natural supplements, so it is important to be very cautious when consuming them.
Commonly, hangover pills are taken to prevent effects like nausea and headaches from occurring after a night of heavy drinking. There are a number of other hangover effects, but nausea and headache are the symptoms most commonly treated by this type of pill. The mechanism by which the pills work to treat these ailments is typically a guarded secret, but the most common claim by manufacturers is that the pills contain a substance that lines the stomach.
According to manufacturers of hangover pills, hangovers are usually caused by impurities in alcoholic beverages, not by alcohol itself. By consuming carbon, a person can effectively filter out the impurities and prevent them from entering the bloodstream. Filtering, when combined with a number of other vitamins and substances to replenish the body, is thought to entirely prevent hangovers.
The claims made by manufacturers of hangover pills are often specific to the pill being marketed. There are a number of variations on this basic idea, and some pills work by entirely different mechanisms. It is important to read and evaluate all claims made about a specific pill before consuming it. Some medications marketed as natural supplements can actually be dangerous because they are unregulated.
There are a number of chemicals that are known to be effective at treating hangovers, though these are not always legal. Cannabis, for example, has been shown to treat hangovers effectively, but this is not usually accepted as a reasonable cure because of the effects marijuana has on the mind. Simply becoming hydrated and taking pain relievers can work as an effective hangover cure as well. While it may someday be possible to have hangover pills backed up by medical authorities, it is usually not a good idea to take any pill that is not regulated if all the ingredients are not understood.