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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

When Christina Ertel has a hangover, she cures it with food.

The 22-year-old political science senior said after a long night, she turns to either greasy food or Krishna Lunch, accompanied by lots of water and Advil.

But now, Ertel may have another option: Blowfish, a new over-the-counter hangover cure that has recently hit the market.

A combination of 1,000 milligrams of aspirin and 120 milligrams of caffeine, the dissolvable tablets are recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a safe, effective method for treating hangovers.

Developed in New York City, Blowfish was just placed in New York drug stores and will be expanding across the country soon, according to its website. It is currently available online in a 12-tablet box for $11.99 or a 50-tablet box for $49.99.

The recommended treatment is to dissolve two Blowfish tablets in a cup of water when you wake up with a hangover. It supposedly works in 15 to 30 minutes.

Ertel said at that price, essentially $2 per cure, she would definitely try it.

"I spend more than that on food the next day," she said.

But William Chen, a professor in UF's health education and behavior department, said he doesn't know that Blowfish is the best idea for students to use.

The compounds in Blowfish only treat some of the symptoms of hangovers, he said, like headaches and fatigue. It doesn't actually cure the hangover.

Hangovers are caused when a person's body fails to metabolize all the alcohol in his or her system, Chen said, calling it a "toxic reaction."

Each person's response to alcohol depends on his or her genetic makeup.

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Blowfish is more similar to a cold medicine, he said, in that it will help you feel more alert and take away aches and pains, but it is not a unique formula.

Chen said he's concerned that products like Blowfish will encourage binge drinking - a common problem on college campuses.

By giving students a treatment that's advertised as a guaranteed cure, he said he worries they will feel invincible, like they can go out and drink anything without consequences.

"A hangover means you drank too much," he said. "Go out and enjoy drinking, but do it responsibly."

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