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Fitness & Health

30th Jul 2021

Doctor says never take paracetamol to treat a hangover and reveals what to take instead

Charlie Herbert

Turns out it’s quite dangerous…

An NHS doctor has shared the reasons why you shouldn’t take paracetamol to treat a hangover, and you may want to listen up.

Dr Karan Rangarjan, who is a surgical doctor and lecturer at Sunderland University, regularly shares his knowledge with his followers on TikTok to educate them about medicine, expose myths and share secrets on what goes on in hospitals day to day.

In one of his more recent videos though, he explains why combining paracetamol and alcohol is a pretty bad idea.

In the clip, Dr Rangarjan explains that it’s actually rather dangerous, as both paracetamol and alcohol produce “toxic products” when the body breaks them down.

If they are taken together, the body may not be able to produce enough of a chemical called glutathione which neutralises toxic compounds. This could have bad consequences for your liver.

The doctor says: “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.

“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.”

Fear not though, because you can still turn to the other big name of the painkiller world, with Karan recommending ibuprofen if you need to treat that pounding post-night out headache.

@dr.karanrNever do this! ##schoolwithdrkaran ##learnontiktok ##science♬ Runaway by Kanye Piano – Henry Cantu

The video has been viewed more than 1 million times since it was posted and has racked up more than 96,000 likes, with plenty of comments from concerned users who weren’t aware of the dangers of paracetamol.

One person said: “Not me taking like 3 paracetamols with friends before drinking.”

Another added: “Oof I always take some pcmol before I go to sleep when drunk [sic].”

“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,” wrote a third user.

Someone else put: “Oh god why hasn’t anyone said this before, surprised my liver still works.”