Hangover Cure Fact or Fiction: Painkillers Before Bed

By James Madeiros


Enterprising partiers have been known to get wise to their hangovers before they even start having them. This inspires some to take remedial action before bed, sometimes in the form of painkillers.

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication and many other painkillers are designed to alleviate pain about four hours after ingestion. This alone should be a clue that taking painkillers before falling asleep is not going to produce the intended effect of killing pain.

There are those, however, that may get the idea that the painkilling effects will extend beyond slumber and help dial down the hangover upon waking.

And, it’s true. Taking a painkiller before bed can help reduce the discomfort of a hangover if you don’t sleep the entire day – and the painkiller’s effects – away. That fact, though, must be tempered with the reality that mixing painkillers and alcohol can be very dangerous. Medicine that contains acetaminophen can cause damage to the kidneys and liver, and aspirin can cause stomach irritation.

What’s more, painkillers taken before bed or upon waking do not help cure the symptoms; they just dull the pain. That’s no reason to swear off all pharmaceutical remedies, especially when taken the next day after the alcohol has been processed, but it wouldn’t hurt to pair your medicine with a glass of water and a healthy meal.


Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).

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