People usually don't go to a healthcare professional to get a diagnosis or treatment for a hangover. Mostly likely, you'll know if you have a hangover based on your symptoms the morning after drinking alcohol. Common symptoms include tiredness, dry mouth, headache, nausea, problems thinking clearly, and low tolerance for light and sound.

Talk to your healthcare professional if regular hangovers affect your quality of life, including your personal relationships or your performance at school or work. Treatment for problems with alcohol is widely available.


Time is the only sure cure for a hangover. Symptoms can last up to 24 hours. In the meantime, here are a few things you can do to help yourself feel better:

  • Fill your water bottle. Sip water or fruit juice to prevent dehydration. Resist any temptation to treat your hangover with more alcohol. It'll only make you feel worse.
  • Have a snack. Bland foods, such as toast and crackers, may boost your blood sugar and settle your stomach. Bouillon soup can help replace lost salt and potassium.
  • Take a pain reliever. A standard dose of a pain reliever you can buy without a prescription may ease a headache. But be careful about using these medicines with alcohol. Aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) can irritate your stomach. The combination of alcohol and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can cause serious liver damage.
  • Go back to bed. If you sleep long enough, your hangover may be gone when you awaken.

Alternative medicine

Many alternative remedies are marketed for hangovers. But studies haven't found any natural remedies that consistently or effectively improve hangover symptoms.

Talk with your healthcare professional before trying any alternative medicine. Keep in mind that natural doesn't always mean safe. Your healthcare professional can help you understand possible risks and benefits before you try a treatment.

Jan. 30, 2024
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