It’s almost the end of the year and if you’re planning on saying goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012 with a few glasses of champagne to go along with a kiss at midnight the FDA has a little holiday present for you ready to go. It’s marketing “approval” of a “hangover pill” called “Blowfish” that will start hitting the shelves and be available for over-the-counter purchase in 2012.
We will put approval in quotation marks because while news reports like this one from the New York Daily News make it sound like the FDA has approved it, all they have really done is adhered to packaging requirements laid out by the FDA for marketing purposes. This “Blowfish” pill is not a new drug; it’s just the combination of several common over-the-counter remedies into one new tablet. There is actually no FDA-Approved designation toward Blowfish because Blowfish is just a mix of aspirin, caffeine and an antacid, all of which are already FDA approved. So it’s a situation of “Buyer Beware”.
The pill contains 1,000 milligrams of aspirin, 120 milligrams of caffeine and a stomach-soothing agent. It’s to be taken in two sparkling tablets much like Alka-Seltzer, the morning after a night of heavy drinking. The manufacturers claim it will work in 15-30 minutes. It will only be available in New York City, the home of the famous midnight dropping ball and Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year’s Eve, but if enough people find it useful it will be more widely available later in the year.
A hangover is a collection of symptoms that emerge when alcohol’s intoxicating effects start to wear off. Research on hangover treatments is scarce, but alcohol is thought to trigger an inflammatory response – a process blocked by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin. The inflammatory response is similar to the body’s defense against flu, and is linked to lethargy – an energy lull boosted by caffeine. Finally, the chemicals produced by the body to break alcohol down are hard on the stomach – collateral damage tempered by an antacid.
The question for those looking at this pill as a magic bullet to wipe that morning headache away is how is it any different than having a cup of coffee, an aspirin, and taking a few Tums or having a glass of gingerale. It combines all these traditional hangover cures into one pill, but really won’t work any differently and nor should you expect it to let you get away with drinking too much and feeling fine the next day. The best advice for avoiding a hangover is to drink plenty of water, and don’t drink too much alcohol. And if you do enjoy a few too many drinks, remember to never drink and drive because no hangover pill can fix the tragic results of mixing booze with cars.
Everyone at Canada Drugs, Canadian Pharmacy wishes you the very best this New Years and hope that you don’t feel the need for a hangover pill at all on the first morning of 2012.