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Doctor Reveals Why You Should Never Take Paracetamol To Treat A Hangover

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

Doctor Reveals Why You Should Never Take Paracetamol To Treat A Hangover

Featured Image Credit: Jam Press/TikTok - @dr.karanr

A TikTok doctor has revealed why you should never use paracetamol when you're hungover, suggesting something else may be a better option instead to treat that banging headache.


Dr Karan Rangarjan is a surgical doctor and lecturer at Sunderland University, who regularly shares his medical knowledge online to help others learn more about health and medicine - from exposing myths to sharing secrets on daily life as a doctor.

In one of his recent posts, he lifted the lid on one of the over-the-counter drugs that many of us rely on to get through headaches, fevers, period pains and more.

Yep, he's talking about paracetamol, the common painkiller used to relieve all sorts of aches and pains.

Credit: Jam Press/TikTok - @dr.karanr
Credit: Jam Press/TikTok - @dr.karanr

Dr Karan, who has more than four million followers on TikTok, believes paracetamol doesn't go too well with booze, warning that mixing the two could have dire consequences.

He explains in the video that mixing the two substances could cause severe damage to liver cells, as both paracetamol and alcohol produce 'toxic products' when broken down in the body.

When taken together, the body may not be able to produce enough of a chemical called glutathione to neutralise the toxic compounds quickly enough, and in turn this could impact the liver.

Credit: Jam Press/TikTok - @dr.karanr
Credit: Jam Press/TikTok - @dr.karanr

Dr Karan says: "This is why you should never mix paracetamol and alcohol.

"When you take paracetamol, it's broken down by the body to various chemicals.

"One of these chemicals is a toxic compound that can damage liver cells.

"To prevent this damage the liver produces glutathione to neutralise this toxic compound.

Credit: Jam Press/TikTok - @dr.karanr
Credit: Jam Press/TikTok - @dr.karanr

"Glutathione also neutralises acetaldehyde, the toxic breakdown products of alcohol.

"If you mix paracetamol and alcohol, it's just not enough glutathione to go round neutralising the toxic breakdown products alcohol and paracetamol."

Instead, Dr Karan recommends taking ibuprofen instead of paracetamol to treat headaches when you're hanging.

"Do you really want to get rid of your hangover headache?" he asks, pointing to a container of ibuprofen tablets.

Credit: Jam Press/TikTok - @dr.karanr
Credit: Jam Press/TikTok - @dr.karanr

His video has had one million views and 96,000 likes since it was posted last week.

Many TikTok users commented to say they had no idea about the issue, having taken both together many times.

One wrote: "Oof I always take some pcmol before I go to sleep when drunk."

Someone else said: "So me popping paras daily for my stress headaches and chasing them with wine to combat stress once a week is a bad idea. Who knew?"

A third wrote: "I wish I knew this before!!!"

A fourth added: "Oh god why hasn't anyone said this before, surprised my liver still works."

Topics: Doctor, World News, News, Alcohol, Hangover, Medicine, Health, TikTok

Jess Hardiman
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