, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 117–125 | Cite as

Alcohol intoxication and hangover: Modification of hangover by chlormethiazole

  • Anna-Lisa Myrsten
  • Ulf Rydberg
  • Carl-Magnus Ideström
  • Robert Lamble
Original Investigations


Alcohol intoxication and hangover were studied in 12 healthy male subjects who participated in three 18-h experimental sessions; two sessions, in which they consumed 1.43 g alcohol/kg body weight as mixed beverages together with food, and one control session when mineral water was substituted for the alcoholic beverages. In one of the alcohol sessions they received chlormethiazole, 1 g at bedtime and 0.5 g early the following morning, in the other, they were given placebo tablets. The following variables were studied: blood-alcohol concentration; blood pressure; heart rate; blood lactate; blood pyruvate; urinary catecholamines (only during hangover); psychomotor and cognitive capacities; as well as subjective reactions. During intoxication, heart rate and lactate-pyruvate ratio were significantly increased and performance efficiency was significantly deteriorated in comparison with the control condition. During hangover, heart rate, blood pressure, and lactate-pyruvate ratio were significantly elevated, and cognitive performance was still affected, in some tests to a significant degree. During this stage there was a great variation between subjects as regards. subjective hangover. Chlormethiazole was found to lower blood pressure and adrenaline output and, furthermore, to relieve unpleasant physical symptoms, but did not affect fatigue and drowsiness. The cognitive test results were only slightly infleenced by this agent, while psychomotor performance was significantly impaired. Subjects with severe subjective hangover seemed to benefit more from the chlormethiazole treatment than subjects with a mild hangover.

Key words

Alcohol intoxication Alcohol hangover Chlormethiazole Heart rate Blood pressure Lactate Pyruvate Catecholamine excretion Psychomotor performance Cognitive performance 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna-Lisa Myrsten
    • 1
  • Ulf Rydberg
    • 1
  • Carl-Magnus Ideström
    • 1
  • Robert Lamble
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Clinical and Experimental Alcohol and Drug ResearchKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity CollegeDublinIreland
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry, Drug and Alcohol Dependence UnitHuddinge University Hospital, Karolinska InstituteHuddingeSweden
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyMount Allison UniversitySackvilleCanada

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