Q: We’ve heard about all the home remedies from our bartenders and our fathers. But is there really anything you can do about a hangover?
A: “There is no way to ‘sober up’ someone who is intoxicated, or speed up the rate at which a body can process alcohol,” says Dr. Andrew Decker, a board-certified neurologist with offices in Rye and White Plains. “But drinking a large amount of water helps flush out many of the chemicals [from the metabolism of alcohol] that can cause hangover symptoms. Aspirin taken before alcohol consumption can reduce the likelihood of a headache, but it may worsen stomach irritation. Some studies suggest that Vitamin B6 or a teaspoon of baking soda in water may be helpful. Use of acetaminophen in combination with alcohol can increase the risk of damage to the liver. Because hangovers are similar in some ways to migraines, and migraine sufferers can benefit by supplementing their intake of magnesium, some researchers have suggested magnesium as a possible treatment. Light exercise such as a brisk walk can help. However, the best cure for a hangover is to drink in moderation.”