Pharmacists warn against trusting hangover cure drugs
With the party season in full stride, revellers should be careful not to misuse drugs that are said to ease hangovers and prevent pregnancy, Hong Kong pharmacists warned on Thursday morning.
There is no clinical evidence to support the claims made for so-called hangover drugs, that they speed up the body’s processing of alcohol, according to a joint warning issued by the Hong Kong Academy of Pharmacy, College of Consultant Pharmacists and the Practising Pharmacists Association of Hong Kong. Some people might also be allergic to the substances in the “remedies”, they said.
The two organisations also warned that morning-after pills could damage women’s bodies and should not be relied on. They are not as effective as ordinary contraceptive measures, such as birth-control pills and condoms.
The academy’s Godfrey Lui Ming-fung said the so-called alcohol metabolisers mainly contain glucomannan – a dietary fibre made from the root of the konjac plant – vitamins and herbal medicine, and the claims made for them are “misleading”.
“Glucomannan is a type of fibre, so the effect is like eating something before drinking. It cannot metabolise alcohol, and it would be dangerous if one thinks he could drive after taking it,” he said.
Lui said some people might be allergic to substances in the drug, and its herbal ingredients might clash with other drugs being consumed. He warned that excessive intake of alcohol can poison, and even kill, a drinker.
As for morning-after pills, Lui said they contained a high level of hormones and cause stomach pain, vomiting, and bleeding in the vagina.
Frequent consumption would damage blood vessels, said association president Iris Chang Yee-man.
Lui and Chang said women should not purchase the drug without a doctor’s prescription. Buying it on the internet or from an untrustworthy source was as dangerous as using fake drugs.