Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence

Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-6488

Short Article - (2021)Volume 9, Issue 2

Short note on Hangover and its Effects

Katie Williams*
*Correspondence: Katie Williams, Department of Psychology, Missouri State University, USA, Tel: + 218927919975, Email:

Author info »


A hangover is the experience of various unpleasant physiological and psychological effects usually following the consumption of alcohol, such as wine, beer, and distilled spirits. Hangovers can last for several hours or for more than 24 hours. Typical symptoms of a hangover may include headache, drowsiness, concentration problems, dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, gastrointestinal distress (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea), absence of hunger, light sensitivity, depression, sweating, nausea, hyperexcitability, irritability, and anxiety. Hangovers are rough. And the more you drink the night before, the more severe your hangover symptoms might feel the morning after. Most of the time you just need to drink water, eat some food, and walk it off. But if you’ve had too much to drink, you may be harming your body and need to see your doctor for treatment. Let’s look at how to tell the difference between a mild, temporary hangover that you can treat at home and one that may need some extra medical attention. Each of these 10 common symptoms stems from a physiological response to the presence of alcohol in your digestive and urinary systems, especially your stomach, kidneys, and bloodstream.


Hangover, Alcohol, Nausea, Headache, Weakness, Dizziness


A consumer satisfaction study was conducted to examine the effectiveness on hangover of After-Effect©, a new food supplement dedicated to improve well-being after an occasion of alcohol consumption. While the causes of a hangover are still poorly understood, several factors are known to be involved including acetaldehyde accumulation, changes in the immune system and glucose metabolism, dehydration, metabolic acidosis, disturbed prostaglandin synthesis, increased cardiac output, vasodilation, sleep deprivation and malnutrition. Beverage-specific effects of additives or by-products such as congeners in alcoholic beverages also play an important role. The symptoms usually occur after the intoxicating effect of the alcohol begins to wear off, generally the morning after a night of heavy drinking.


Alcohol has a wide range of effects on your body, many of which contribute to hangover symptoms.

Some of these include:

Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you pee more often. As such, it’s easier to become dehydrated both during and after drinking. Dehydration is one of the main causes of headaches, dizziness, and, of course, thirst.

Gastrointestinal effects: Alcohol causes irritation and increases acid production in your digestive system. Depending on how much you drink, alcohol can also speed up or slow down the passage of food matter through your gastrointestinal tract. These effects are associated with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Electrolyte imbalance: Alcohol intake affects your body’s electrolyte levels. Electrolyte imbalances may contribute to headaches, irritability, and weakness.

Immune system effects: Drinking alcohol may impair your immune system. A wide range of hangover symptoms, including nausea, decreased appetite, and inability to concentrate may be related to temporary changes in immune system function caused by alcohol.

Low blood sugar: Drinking limits the production of sugar (glucose) in the body. Low blood sugar is associated with fatigue, dizziness, and irritability.

Dilated blood vessels: When you drink, your blood vessels widen. This effect, known as vasodilation, is associated with headaches.

Difficulty sleeping: Although drinking too much can leave you feeling sleepy, it also prevents high-quality sleep, and may cause you to wake up in the night. The next day, you might feel drowsier than usual.

These symptoms vary from person to person and can range in intensity from mild to severe. Sometimes, they’re enough to derail your entire day.

Also of interest would be to conduct dose-ranging studies. Currently, five capsules of After-Effect© have to be taken. Since this was based on scientific literature on the effectiveness of individual ingredients it can be imagined that a reduction of the number of capsules to be taken (and thus the overall dosage of the ingredients) may sort the same effectiveness. In terms of potential adverse effects, but also with regard to user friendliness, it would be an advantage if less than 5 capsules would be sufficient to reduce hangover severity.

Taken together, the results from this first study on the effectiveness of After-Effect are promising and suggest that After-Effect© may effectively reduce hangover symptom severity. This should, however, be verified and confirmed by placebo-controlled clinical trials.


  1. Verster JC, van Herwijnen J, Olivier B, Kahler CW. Validation of the Dutch version of the brief young adult alcohol consequences questionnaire (B-YAACQ). Addictive behaviors. 2009;34:411-414.
  2. Howland J, Rohsenow DJ, Edwards EM. Are some drinkers resistant to hangover? A literature review. Current drug abuse reviews. 2008;1:42- 46.
  3. C Verster J, Stephens R, Penning R, Rohsenow D, McGeary J, Levy D, McKinney A, et al. The alcohol hangover research group consensus statement on best practice in alcohol hangover research. Current drug abuse reviews. 2010;3:116-126.
  4. Pittler MH, Verster JC, Ernst E. Interventions for preventing or treating alcohol hangover: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Bmj. 2005;331:1515-1518.
  5. Penning R, van Nuland M, AL Fliervoet L, Olivier B, C Verster J. The pathology of alcohol hangover. Current Drug Abuse Reviews. 2010;3:68-75.
  6. Kaivola S, Parantainen J, Österman T, Timonen H. Hangover headache and prostaglandins: prophylactic treatment with tolfenamic acid. Cephalalgia. 1983;3:31-36.
  7. Wiese J, McPherson S, Odden MC, Shlipak MG. Effect of Opuntia ficus indica on symptoms of the alcohol hangover. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2004;164:1334-1340.
  8. Penning R, van Nuland M, AL Fliervoet L, Olivier B, C Verster J. The pathology of alcohol hangover. Current Drug Abuse Reviews. 2010;3:68-75.
  9. Kim DJ, Kim W, Yoon SJ, Choi BM, Kim JS, Go HJ, et al. Effects of alcohol hangover on cytokine production in healthy subjects. Alcohol. 2003;31:167-170.
  10. Verster JC. The alcohol hangover–a puzzling phenomenon. Alcohol & Alcoholism. 2008;43:124-126.

Author Info

Katie Williams*
Department of Psychology, Missouri State University, USA

Citation: Williams K (2021) Short note on Hangover and its Effects. J Alcohol Drug Depend 9: e104.

Received: 08-Feb-2021 Accepted: 15-Feb-2021 Published: 22-Feb-2021

Copyright: © 2021 Jeff Peterson, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.