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A hangover remedy for the holidays?

Last updated: January 2011

Morning help
Bayer AM combines aspirin with caffeine to fight pain and increase alertness.

"Ever have morning pain slow you down?" asks a television ad for Bayer AM, an over-the-counter pain reliever and alertness aid. It's "specially formulated to fight morning pain and fatigue," the ad claims. But will it help relieve hangover symptoms, as its label claims, this holiday season?

Yes. According to a Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman, Bayer AM meets the agency's rules for the indication of relieving hangover symptoms. Each extra-strength dose contains 1,000 milligrams of aspirin and 130 milligrams of caffeine (about as much as in a cup of coffee) for temporary relief of the "minor aches and pains" and "fatigue or drowsiness associated with a hangover," according to the Drug Facts label. Suggested retail price is about $6.50 for 50 tablets. Aspirin and caffeine might help relieve some hangover symptoms, says Sam Zakhari, Ph.D., a director at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. But it's best to not drink heavily or to drink more than you're used to.

To help prevent hangovers, eat when drinking to slow the absorption of alcohol. Don't drink when you're tired, because alcohol can alter sleep patterns. Darker-color liquors can cause a harsher hangover because they contain more potentially toxic substances than lighter liquids. And since alcohol can dehydrate you, drink lots of water or other nonalcoholic liquids while drinking and afterward.

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