The Sideshow

“Hangover cure” approved for sale by FDA

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

The FDA has approved a new "hangover cure" product that could be available on U.S. store shelves as early as next month.

The "Alka-Seltzer like tablet" is not an actual new ingredient, but rather a potent combination of caffeine, aspirin and an antacid. ABC News reports that the product, called "Blowfish," is already available at the Ricky's pharmaceutical chain in New York City and is scheduled to be introduced nationally in January.

"It's the only over-the-counter drug that's specifically hangover related," Blowfish creator Brenna Haysom told ABC News. "The [Food and Drug Administration] has specifically said our formula is effective for treating hangover symptoms."

Technically, the FDA did not have to approve of the product as a "hangover cure," since it is composed of ingredients already available for over-the-counter sales. But agency officials did have to approve of the drug's packaging.

"Like all drug packaging, it has a lot of warnings for people with certain conditions," Haysom said. "And pregnant women should not take it, but hopefully they don't need to be taking it!"

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Is Blowfish the long-sought "hangover cure?"

Of course, there's no proof that this self-described cure would be any more effective than taking aspirin, caffeine and antacid in separate forms. But in spite--or maybe because of--the paucity of scientifically tested cures, the hangover remedy has become its own cottage industry, with various treatments ranging from greasy food to Kung Fu. The most commonly accepted way of mitigating the harmful effects of alcohol, short of abstaining, is drinking water.

But the Blowfish pill does pack a powerful punch, containing 1,000mg of aspirin and 120 milligrams of caffeine, more than what's found in the typical cup of coffee.

"Almost no research at all has been done on the hangover state," said Dr. Timothy Collins, associate professor of medicine and neurology at Duke University Medical Center's Pain and Palliative Care Clinic., told ABC. "One of the things we know from headache clinical trials is that at least 25 percent of patients getting a placebo say it worked really well for them. One in four people are going to say this helps, but we just don't know."

Nonetheless, the makers of Blowfish are confident enough in their product's performance to offer a money-back guarantee.

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