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Does the ‘miracle’ hangover pill really work? We put it to the test


Myrkl, which is taken before drinking, breaks down alcohol within the gut before it reaches the liver. Trials showed that those that took two pills and drank two glasses of wine had 70 per cent less alcohol of their blood an hour later, in comparison with those that didn’t take it

Heavy drinking is like taking out a high-interest loan — you borrow happiness that can have to be paid back the subsequent day, normally in the shape of a thumping head, fuzzy brain and dry mouth.

So it’s no surprise a latest pill that claims to be the primary scientifically-backed hangover cure sold out immediately when it launched last week.

Technically, the Swedish-made Myrkl — pronounced miracle — is alleged to get you less drunk, subsequently less hungover. 

It is alleged to work by breaking up 70 per cent of alcohol within the gut before it reaches the liver.

A pack of 30 tablets costs £30, with people advised to take two an hour before drinking.

When you concentrate on the common pint of lager in Britain is £4, £2 seems a small price to pay in the event that they actually work.

So MailOnline put the pills to the test on two reporters — with very mixed results…

Joe Davies, Health Reporter – ‘I needed to force myself away from bed… at 6pm’ 3/10

Coming into the office on Friday ahead of some planned birthday celebrations within the evening, I used to be surprised with a present that had the potential to enhance my weekend significantly.

The promise of a hangover-free Saturday, despite having a pub table booked for around 25 friends — most of whom can be buying me drinks, later that day sounded too good to be true. 

But I agreed to check out the pills on a session that might prove to check them to their limit. My first pint of Guinness was sunk in five minutes on the pub by our office at around 6pm. 

Connor Joe

MailOnline put the pills to the test on two reporters, Connor Boyd (left) and Joe Davies (right) — and the tablets performed to various degrees

The evening ended at around 3am — 10 hours after taking the pills and more than a dozen drinks later

The evening ended at around 3am — 10 hours after taking the pills and greater than a dozen drinks later

Alcohol is broken down by the liver into acetaldehyde, which then produces the compound acetic acid within the body. That is regarded as behind the tell-tale hangover symptoms. Myrkl (pictured) claims to interfere with this process

Sadly, it was the last stout left within the barrel and I had to modify to lager for my second pint.

In my experience, mixing beverages is a surefire way of waking up with a sore head the subsequent morning, so I used to be already doubting whether the pills would work.

The drinks kicked in relatively quickly, with no obvious reduction in how the alcohol was affecting me.

Feeling barely giddy — I used to be drinking on an empty stomach — I began on the trip back to North London where the pub was booked.

On arrival, I used to be treated to a gin and tonic, followed swiftly by one other lager before most individuals turned up.

I’d planned to get a pizza there however the constant flow of booze left little time to trouble myself with the distraction of food.

One other pint followed, after which one other and one other, leaving me feeling pretty tipsy and unhindered by the supposed sobering qualities of Myrkl.

I still held out hope for its hangover-curing powers, nonetheless, so continued my vital work by accepting one more birthday pint.

After around five hours, my memory becomes a bit more fuzzy — although I do remember tasting an incredibly spicy margarita cocktail, adding one other spirit to the combination. 

The evening ended at around 3am — 10 hours after taking the pills and greater than a dozen drinks later. 

Now, my hangovers aren’t normally too bad but an evening like this may normally lead to a day spent on the sofa rewatching old movies because anything latest can be too taxing on my fragile brain.

Unfortunately, the pills weren’t enough to stop my body from punishing me on this occasion.

First got here the splitting headache, knocking me rudely within the face as soon as I opened my eyes at around 11am. I used to be barely capable of swallow the primary ibuprofens down because my throat was so dry.

I managed to defeat the urge to remain in bed all day, dragging myself to the sofa where I remained for the overwhelming majority of the afternoon. 

The symptoms eventually alleviated by about 8pm — but only after a few recovery wines at a picnic within the park.

Would the hangover have been much worse had I not tried the pills? Perhaps. Did they work on this occasion in any quantifiable way? Absolutely not.

Perhaps one other trial for work purposes is required. 

No hangover cures have ever worked for Deputy Health Editor Connor Boyd

No hangover cures have ever worked for Deputy Health Editor Connor Boyd

Connor Boyd, Deputy Health Editor – ‘They are surely Myrkls’ 9/10

To begin with, I should preface this review by saying I get notoriously bad hangovers from embarrassingly low amounts of alcohol.

Any greater than two pints remotely near bedtime will give me a sore head, dry mouth and slight nausea the next day.

I say this since it meant I used to be extremely sceptical before trialling the brand new Myrkl pills.

I’ve tried nearly every ‘natural’ home cure under the sun — a glass of water after every drink, shotting apple cider vinegar the subsequent day, and even taking antihistamines before bed (I do know, it sounds bonkers).

Nothing has worked, so I even have at all times thought I’m just genetically predisposed to being a wuss in terms of drink.

My trial began on Friday after work. I took two of the pills, as really useful, at about 5pm and was within the pub by 5.45pm.

It didn’t really stand a likelihood of working on the primary pint of lager. It was gone in about five minutes.


Alcohol is broken down by the liver into acetaldehyde, which then produces the compound acetic acid within the body. 

That is regarded as behind the tell-tale hangover symptoms.

Nonetheless, Myrkl claims to interfere with this process.

It incorporates bacteria Bacillus Coagulans and Bacillus Subtilis and amino acid L-Cysteine, which break alcohol down into water and carbon dioxide.

This implies barely any acetaldehyde and acetic acid are made by the liver.

The pills also contain vitamin B12, which the corporate claims will leave users ‘feeling refreshed’.

Two Myrkl pills have to be taken an hour before drinking. It then keeps breaking down alcohol for as much as 12 hours. 

The complement was created by Swedish medical company De Faire Medical (DFM).

All of the ingredients are authorised and recognised as protected by the European Food Safety Agency and the US Food Drug Administration.

Nonetheless, it could not leave drinkers totally hangover free as other mechanisms are also involved in hangovers.

Dehydration, low blood sugar — on account of alcohol causing sugar to be lost in urine — and methanol, one other fermentation product present in alcoholic drinks, also contribute to feeling unwell after drinking an excessive amount of.  

Not a sufficiently big sample size, I said, so the subsequent one was ordered.

Myrkle claims to work by breaking down alcohol within the gut before it may reach the liver, subsequently making you less drunk and, hopefully, less hungover. 

However the sun was shining, it was a Friday night, and I used to be performing on an empty stomach, so I felt pretty merry after two pints.

‘I don’t think that is working’, I said to myself as I saw off the last of the last of my second drink and packed up my things to move home.

Here’s where it really began getting weird. As I navigated my way through a few busy Tube stations, I wasn’t bursting for a wee, I didn’t have that barely delayed response time and my mouth wasn’t as parched as normal after a number of pints. 

Probably placebo, I believed.

I met my girlfriend at our local park at around 7pm and we sat within the sun and had two more drinks. I had a beer and a fruity cocktail thing.

4 pints in and I used to be definitely feeling less drunk than I should’ve, given the food-to-drink ratio in my body.

We went for a meal at 8.30pm and I had two more pints over the course of an hour.

It was after the sixth drink that I began to get a few of what I prefer to call ‘pre-hangover’ symptoms — thirst, dry mouth, a really subtle headache.

I began to lose faith. 

Until this point I had felt invincible all night. I believed, ‘I can drink all the pieces in sight without suffering the results with this little miracle pill on my side’.

But that optimism was slowly evaporating, and I became resigned to the very fact I used to be probably going to be hungover tomorrow.

I went to bed in a rather deflated mood and was sleeping by 11pm.

The following morning, I woke up at about 6.30am naturally. ‘Uh oh,’ I believed as I squinted on the clock and saw the time.

As I slowly got here to, I braced for the nausea, throbbing head and pangs of hysteria that typically follow an evening out for me, even a tame one. 

But they never got here. That is when I began to get excited. I grabbed my phone immediately and began jotting down some notes for this review.

‘Woke up early. 80 per cent less bad than expected. No anxiety, mouth 70 per cent less dry, much less thirsty, buy more of those,’ they read.

I had some brain fog and felt ever so barely under-slept. But I used to be capable of stomach a giant breakfast and work out on the gym at full pelt a number of hours later. 

By noon, my symptoms faded completely and I almost forgot I’d been out the night before. In the event that they can work on me, they’ll work on anybody.


One screening tool used widely by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the 10-question test is taken into account to be the gold standard in helping to find out if someone has alcohol abuse problems.

The test has been reproduced here with permission from the WHO.

To finish it, answer each query and note down the corresponding rating.


0-7: You might be throughout the sensible drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.

Over 8: Indicate harmful or hazardous drinking.

8-15: Medium level of risk. Drinking at your current level puts you vulnerable to developing problems along with your health and life normally, akin to work and relationships. Consider cutting down (see below for suggestions).

16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. Cutting back on your personal could also be difficult at this level, as you could be dependent, so you could need skilled help out of your GP and/or a counsellor.

20 and over: Possible dependence. Your drinking is already causing you problems, and you could possibly thoroughly be dependent. It’s best to definitely consider stopping regularly or at the least reduce your drinking. It’s best to seek skilled help to determine the extent of your dependence and the safest method to withdraw from alcohol.

Severe dependence may have medically assisted withdrawal, or detox, in a hospital or a specialist clinic. That is on account of the likelihood of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the primary 48 hours needing specialist treatment.

Don’t fancy taking the brand new £1 hangover-prevention pill? Why it is best to AVOID a cup of coffee and keep away from ‘hair of the dog’… but there could be something in treating yourself to a greasy breakfast

When plagued with an alcohol-induced headache, nausea and tiredness, individuals are eager to try anything to ease their crippling hangover symptoms. 

Downing a cup of coffee and tucking right into a greasy breakfast are alleged to make us feel immediately higher, while the brave insist ‘hair of the dog’ is the miracle cure. 

Now there is a pill — costing £1 a pop — that, in keeping with its manufacturers, is powerful enough to leave drinkers feeling fresh after a heavy night out.

But can the brutal effects of a hangover simply be swatted away by magic potions, or is time the one treatment you’ll be able to bank on? MailOnline has decided to sift through the evidence… so thank us next time you feel sorry for yourself after an evening on the tiles.

To tackle a crippling hangover, experts advise against hair of the dog, which they say will leave drinkers worse-off, hangover supplements, which studies suggest are ineffective, and coffee, as it could actually worsen symptoms. However, they say eating, drinking plenty of water and turning to ibuprofen should ease headaches, nausea and tiredness

To tackle a crippling hangover, experts advise against hair of the dog, which they are saying will leave drinkers worse-off, hangover supplements, which studies suggest are ineffective, and occasional, because it could actually worsen symptoms. Nonetheless, they are saying eating, drinking loads of water and turning to ibuprofen should ease headaches, nausea and tiredness

Hangover ‘cures’ it is best to AVOID

Hair of the dog

Continuing to drink the morning after a heavy night out has long been touted as a way of skipping the inevitable headache, nausea and tiredness.

The approach relies on the phrase ‘hair of the dog that bit you’, with advocates of the approach insisting that hangovers are merely a type of alcohol withdrawal. Subsequently, or so the speculation goes, the reason behind an ailment will also be the thing used to cure it.

Some experts, including Dr Robert Swift of the Windfall Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Rhode Island, have suggested there’s some logic to the madness. 

But this relies on the knowledge that alcohol can have the identical effect on brain cells as powerful sedatives like Valium, which trigger withdrawal symptoms as they wear off.  

Alcohol may also boost endorphins — hormones which act like natural pain killers — which can temporarily mask hangover symptoms. 

Nonetheless, experts — including Dr Swift himself — have long dismissed the homeopathic-style approach since it doesn’t give the alcohol-weary any time to recuperate.

People will eventually must stop drinking and might be left facing an excellent more severe hangover than the one they were battling, they are saying.

Hangover supplements

Hangover-busting pill Myrkl went on sale within the UK yesterday — nevertheless it’s not the one product claimed to give you the option to miraculously rid you of a brutal hangover. 

Dozens of capsules, powders and stick-on patches are sold with daring claims of ensuring users ‘get up feeling as fresh as a daisy’, can ‘keep your head from pounding’ and ‘deliver hydration to the bloodstream faster and more efficiently than water’.

Natural supplements akin to ginseng and clove extract are also said to give you the option to ease the tell-tale symptoms.

While some may swear by them, the science is not so robust.

A team of researchers at King’s College London reviewed 21 studies that involved participants being given either a complement or placebo treatment. 

While a few of the papers showed they really did help ease hangovers, these were of low quality and were suffering from issues akin to imprecise measurements. 

No two studies identified the identical treatment, meaning the findings haven’t been replicated — a necessary a part of science needed to verify the outcomes weren’t just all the way down to luck.

Within the case of Myrkl’s £1 pill, which must be taken before drinking, its Swedish manufacturer insists the science stands up.

It incorporates bacteria Bacillus Coagulans and Bacillus Subtilis and amino acid L-Cysteine, which break alcohol down into water and carbon dioxide. 

Trials revealed drinkers who swallowed two pills and drank two glasses of wine had 70 per cent less alcohol of their blood an hour later, in comparison with those that didn’t take it. 

For the subsequent 12 hours, the complement works by breaking down alcohol within the gut before it reaches the liver. 

Nonetheless Dr Duane Mellor, a dietitian at Aston Medical School in Birmingham, told MailOnline: ‘Although studies suggest L-cysteine may help alcohol metabolism there currently aren’t any approved health claims in Europe or the UK to permit this claim for use for marketing.’

And it will be essential to understand how the bacteria within the pill can metabolise alcohol, because the ‘harsh environment’ of the stomach and small intestine kills a number of bacteria, he said. And people who survive can take longer to change into energetic, Dr Mellor said.

‘Although this sounds interesting, the dearth of information and the published trials mean moderate alcohol consumption is probably the important thing to not getting a hangover,’ he added. 


Those struggling to not sleep when hungover may turn to coffee to see them through the day. But experts warn a mug may very well leave them worse-off.

Coffee, together with alcohol itself, is a diuretic, which suggests it makes people pass urine more often. 

And alcohol also slows down the discharge of vasopressin — a hormone that keeps hydration levels balanced. 

Those with a hangover are already prone to be dehydrated, so fuelling this further by drinking a flat white could make their head hurt much more.

And caffeine narrows blood vessels and increases blood pressure, which could make headaches even worse. 

Dr Jenna Macciochi, a nutrition expert on the University of Sussex, told MailOnline that while coffee ‘may make you’re feeling temporarily higher — more alert, especially since alcohol affects sleep quality — it could further dehydrate you.’ 

Nonetheless, other experts still swear by coffee as a way of overcoming hangover-related tiredness the subsequent day. 

Hangover ‘cures’ that truly MIGHT help 

Eat a full English 

The considered wolfing down sausage, bacon and eggs after an evening out can leave some nauseous.

However the high protein foods present in a full English contain cysteine — an amino acid that may decrease the quantity of acetaldehyde, the substance that the liver breaks alcohol down into.

Eating will even boost energy and blood sugar levels, which might tackle tiredness, advocates of a greasy breakfast insist. 

And nausea after drinking is usually brought on by an empty stomach — so eating may help with this too, in theory, even when it doesn’t seem appealing. 

Nonetheless, Ian Hamilton, an addiction expert on the University of York, told MailOnline that while eating will help a hangover ‘a traditional fry up is not pretty much as good as something more nutritious’.

Foods akin to chicken, turkey and yoghurt are also high in cysteine, which could help ease hangover symptoms and be more waist-friendly. 

Water-dense foods akin to watermelon, strawberries, melon and cucumber may also help by rehydrating you. 

Dr Macciochi said that boosting gut health when hungover is ‘very essential’. Alcohol damages each gut barrier and gut microbiome, which might result in elevated inflammation and might make you’re feeling worse, she said.

But Dr Macciochi said she would go for fibre-rich plant foods and fermented foods somewhat than a greasy fry-up. 

‘Kimchi, sourkraut, kefir can be great options. Just search for ones that will not be pasturised or have added sugars etc which could negate their advantages,’ she added.

Drink loads of water

Despite dehydration being behind some hangover symptoms, drinking water on an evening out or when hungover is usually forgotten about.

But experts hail it because the must-do step to ease hangover symptoms. They usually recommend downing a pint of water before you go to bed.

Others urge drinkers to glug down water or perhaps a non-fizzy soft drink between alcoholic beverages to counteract the dehydration effect of alcohol.

Because the body loses vital liquids on account of alcohol’s diuretic effect, it is important to interchange lost fluid.

Mr Hamilton said: ‘Essentially your body treats alcohol as a poison so it’s going to prioritise processing this. 

‘Ensuring you’re sufficiently hydrated is the perfect method to reduce hangover symptoms. 

‘Ideally drinking water soon after consuming alcohol is the perfect thing to do but that can either be forgotten on the time or not be appealing.’

Although experts highly recommend it, the evidence is not completely in its favour because dehydration is not the only reason behind a hangover. 

A study of 800 students’ hangover habits by Dutch researchers found that despite greater than half eating food after drinking alcohol and two-thirds drinking water, their hangover was no less severe.

The researchers said this was on account of dehydration being only one contributor to hangover symptoms. Headaches, nausea and vomiting are also caused when the liver converts alcohol into toxic chemical acetaldehyde. As acetaldehyde is converted into less toxic chemicals, hangover symptoms ease. 

Take painkillers 

Turning to painkillers like ibuprofen may help tackle hangover-related sore heads — in addition to aches and pains.

Certainly one of the world’s hottest painkillers, it was actually identified as such after Boots pharmacist Dr Stewart Adams used it to ease his hangover ahead of a vital speech greater than 50 years ago.

The drug, generally known as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or (NSAID), works by interfering with the production of prostaglandins — a chemical that causes inflammation within the body. 

While anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to assist ease the impact of alcohol and might ease aches and pains after an evening out, health chiefs caution that it may irritate the stomach lining. So the drug must only be taken after eating food. 

But Mr Hamilton said: ‘The most effective cure for a hangover is to limit how much you drink to start with.

‘But that is difficult, as everyone knows that alcohol lowers our resolve. But in case you can avoid spirits and a few varieties of cheaper wines which have chemicals which make hangover symptoms more likely.’

Experts say people should avoid paracetamol, nonetheless. ‘If alcohol is lingering in your system, it could accentuate acetaminophen’s toxic effects on the liver,’ in keeping with a Harvard health advice page.

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