You may have seen them in the store: Drinkin' Mate. PreToxx. RU 21. Their premise sounds appealing. Simply pop one of these pills in your mouth, or dissolve the tablet in water, and you'll prevent or cure your hangover. These aids typically contain natural ingredients the manufacturers claim thwart hangovers. Drinkin' Mate, for example, contains guava leaf extract that supposedly will combat the toxins and increased free-radical activity caused by consuming alcohol. PreToxx, a vegetarian capsule with prickly pear extract and milk thistle, purportedly helps prevent hangover symptoms and, if taken daily, helps ensure healthy liver functioning.
But researchers say none of the hangover pills that have been studied are effective; at best they combat just a portion of your hangover (e.g., just cotton-mouth). So if you're trying to avoid a hangover or help your body by replacing nutrients lost by excessive alcohol consumption -- the claim some of these remedies make -- it may be better simply to take a multivitamin [sources: Harding, The BMJ].