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unpleasant symptoms that occur 4 to 6 hours after excessive ingestion of alcohol; see alcoholism.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
A popular term for the unpleasant consequences affecting 75% of those who drink alcohol to excess, resulting in headaches, nausea, vomiting, thirst, dry mouth, tremors, dizziness, fatigue and muscle cramps, fuzzy cognition, poor visual-spatial coordination and pain with loud noises; in the extreme case, hallucinations, shaking and sweating, the latter of which can have features of alcohol withdrawal Management
Prevention—drink slower, eat, especially sugars, drink fluids
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


The unpleasant psychological and physiologic effects after heavy consumption of drugs or alcoholic beverages, including nausea, headache, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, dysphoria, and thirst.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


The state of general distress experienced on the morning after an evening of alcoholic over-indulgence. The symptoms include headache, depression, remorse, shakiness, nausea and VERTIGO. With the possible exception of stomach irritation, these are not caused by alcohol, most of which has already been metabolized. The breakdown products, such as acetaldehyde, and some of the other constituents (congeners) of alcoholic drinks are, however, toxic. Other factors such as smoking, dehydration, overeating, the recollection of indiscretion and the loss of sleep may contribute.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Patient discussion about hangover

Q. What is the cause of hangovers? And why mixing drinks also contribute to that effect?

A. Hangovers are multi-causal. Ethanol has a dehydrating effect by causing increased urine production (such substances are known as diuretics), which causes headaches, dry mouth, and lethargy. Dehydration causes the brain to shrink away from the skull slightly. Alcohol's effect on the stomach lining can account for nausea. Because of the increased NADH production during metabolism of ethanol, excess of that substance causes hypoglycemia. In addition, it is thought that the presence of other alcohols (such as fusel oils), by-products of the alcoholic fermentation also called congeners, exaggerate many of the symptoms (congeners may also be zinc or other metals added primarily to sweet liqueurs to enhance their flavor).

Q. What can be done to reduce the effects of a hangover? Dear friends, I often face a hangover which is out of my control. What can be done to reduce the effects of a hangover? I heard that drinking water before going to bed will help.

A. I once wrote an article about hang-over therapy, maybe you can read it here :

The safest and most natural way to get over it is just wait until the symptoms fade away. But if you feel a heavy headache, some papers will recommend you to take aspirins (this will reduce the pain), and if you feel discomfort in your stomach, it is most likely because alcohol is irritative for your stomach surface, so grabbing some food will help.

Q. Tips for drinking without getting hangover anyone..? How can I avoid hangover? Or vomiting? Or all those unpleasant side effects that a really good party have…

A. the easyest way to avoid a hangover is to not drink,so much,..just because you are at a party..doesnt mean you have to get sick on alcohol...there is no sure way of not getting a hangover...MRFOOT56

More discussions about hangover
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References in periodicals archive ?
TV3's Ursula Halligan said: "Radio programmes and the internet are alive with the belief that you were either drunk or hungover on Morning Ireland."
Things got off to an awkward start as he candidly told Christine he was "hungover" - leading her to swiftly change the subject.
Once they have done this they lose all their water (another trademark of the hungover Hayward) their metabolism slows to 0.01% of the normal rate.
UNDER THE WEATHER Presenter pretended to pass out hungover
More than one third of those polled admitted to researchers that they'd been either under the influence of alcohol or hungover when they'd broken an item.
The researchers suggest that their findings have important implications when it comes to activities performed when hungover, including driving.
The researchers suggest their findings have important implications when it comes to activities performed when hungover, including driving.
He said: "I was a little hungover. I had too much to drink last night.
Marco Jr, who recently appeared on Big Brother, told police he was "too hungover" to attend after apparently going out partying last night.
THE VERY HUNGOVER CATERPILLAR: A PARODY BY JOSIE LLOYD & EMLYN REES (Constable, PS9.99 ebook PS5.99) ANYONE who read We're Going On A Bar Hunt - Lloyd and Rees' parody of classic children's story We're Going On A Bear Hunt - will not be disappointed by their latest release.