A new pre-drinking, hangover-preventative pill claims to help metabolize alcohol in the bloodstream faster than the liver alone. But unlike other products, which aim to lessen hangover symptoms via increased liver function, new drug Myrkl works by cleaning the blood immediately as alcohol enters the body. The result is simply a lessening of the effects of alcohol on the body — milder hangovers, yes, but also dulled euphoria during consumption.
Participants in a clinical trial of Myrkl who drank two glasses of wine and took the supplement before drinking had, on average, 50 percent less alcohol in their blood after 30 minutes than drinkers who did not take the pill.
After 60 minutes, the test group had 70 percent less — a sharp reduction in alcohol volume which led to decreased impacts on the body, both during consumption and after stopping for the night.
Dr. Deborah Lee of the Dr. Fox Online Pharmacy said if Myrkl’s claims are true, then the drug is likely to reduce the usual feelings of intoxication after drinking a few alcoholic drinks. This inconvenient truth may deter some drinkers away from the drug altogether if they just have to make up the difference in euphoria with more volume of product.
“It makes sense that some of the hangover symptoms that usually follow a bout of drinking would be reduced, because blood alcohol levels are reduced, hence there will be less alcohol for the liver to metabolize,” Dr. Lee said. “There will also be lower levels of the toxic metabolic breakdown product, acetaldehyde — thought to be the cause of many hangover symptoms.
Eliminating hangovers could lead to increased alcoholism according to some experts
“Myrkl is not so much ‘a hangover cure,’ as ‘a stopping you get drunk in the first place’ remedy. Many people drink to celebrate and relax. If you want to feel the effects of alcohol, you will need to drink larger volumes of alcohol to achieve the same effect.”
The drug still lacks substantive research; but two of its active ingredients are known to improve glucose (L-cysteine) and hydration (Methylcellulose) levels, both of which should theoretically aid a hangover.
Martin Preston, Founder and Chief Executive at private rehab clinic Delamere in Great Britain, said that disguising the symptoms of overconsumption of alcohol does not benefit the patient like promised.
“Alongside this, alcoholism could become more widespread as the body will start to adapt to drinking in larger volumes due to regular use of the pill,” Preston said. “Drinkers without a hangover the next day might also be encouraged to drink yet again that day which could eventually lead to alcoholism.”
Time will tell if the market decides to blunt the effects of alcohol in favor of lessened hangover symptoms, or if drinkers just decide to gradually cut back consumption to achieve the same effect.
“It is a natural product, that does not appear harmful, with some physiological effects which appear to counteract hangover symptoms,” Dr. Fox added.
“We will see whether drinkers find it truly helpful or not.”