Next Article in Journal
Endothelin Receptor Antagonists: Status Quo and Future Perspectives for Targeted Therapy
Next Article in Special Issue
The Effects of SJP-001 on Alcohol Hangover Severity: A Pilot Study
Previous Article in Journal
Health in Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum Global Alliance: International Network Pregnancy Priorities for the Prevention of Maternal Obesity and Related Pregnancy and Long-Term Complications
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Assessment of Overall Hangover Severity

Updating the Definition of the Alcohol Hangover

Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Utrecht University, 3584CG Utrecht, The Netherlands
Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, 3584CM Utrecht, The Netherlands
Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University, Melbourne, VIC 3122, Australia
Cognitive Neurophysiology, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, TU Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 823;
Received: 26 February 2020 / Revised: 12 March 2020 / Accepted: 14 March 2020 / Published: 18 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Alcohol Hangover: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment)
In 2016, the Alcohol Hangover Research Group defined the alcohol hangover as “the combination of mental and physical symptoms experienced the day after a single episode of heavy drinking, starting when blood alcohol concentration (BAC) approaches zero”. In the light of new findings and evidence, we carefully reviewed the different components of that definition. Several studies demonstrated that alcohol hangovers are not limited to heavy drinking occasions. Instead, data from both student and non-student samples revealed that at a group level, alcohol hangover may occur at much lower BAC levels than previously thought. Regression analysis further revealed that for individual drinkers, the occurrence of hangovers is more likely when subjects consume more alcohol than they usually do. However, hangovers may also occur at a drinker’s usual BAC, and in some cases even at lower BAC (e.g. in case of illness). We also carefully reviewed and modified other parts of the definition. Finally, hangovers are not necessarily limited to the ‘next day’. They can start at any time of day or night, whenever BAC approaches zero after a single dinking occasion. This may also be on the same day as the drinking occasion (e.g. when drinking in, or until the morning and subsequently having a hangover in the afternoon or evening). To better reflect the new insights and sharpen the description of the concept, we hereby propose to update the definition of the alcohol hangover as follows: “The alcohol hangover refers to the combination of negative mental and physical symptoms which can be experienced after a single episode of alcohol consumption, starting when blood alcohol concentration (BAC) approaches zero”, and recommend to use this new definition in future hangover research. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; hangover; definition alcohol; hangover; definition
MDPI and ACS Style

Verster, J.C.; Scholey, A.; van de Loo, A.J.A.E.; Benson, S.; Stock, A.-K. Updating the Definition of the Alcohol Hangover. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 823.

AMA Style

Verster JC, Scholey A, van de Loo AJAE, Benson S, Stock A-K. Updating the Definition of the Alcohol Hangover. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2020; 9(3):823.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Verster, Joris C., Andrew Scholey, Aurora J.A.E. van de Loo, Sarah Benson, and Ann-Kathrin Stock. 2020. "Updating the Definition of the Alcohol Hangover" Journal of Clinical Medicine 9, no. 3: 823.

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop