How to Deal With a Hangover if You’re Alcohol Intolerant?


If you have ever had an epic night out and overindulged with too much to drink, you have likely woken up to an unpleasant hangover. A hangover is the unpleasant feeling of fatigue, nausea, and headache associated with drinking too much alcohol. However, if you are alcohol intolerant, the effects of hangovers can be even more troublesome. 

Alcohol intolerance occurs when the body has difficulty breaking down alcohol, leading to symptoms like redness of the face, hives, headaches, vomiting, and stomach pain. For someone with alcohol intolerance, hangover symptoms can become amplified and last longer than they would for someone who is not alcohol intolerant.

Understanding Alcohol Intolerance

Alcohol intolerance is a condition where a person experiences adverse physical reactions when consuming alcohol. These reactions can range from moderate to severe and result from an inability of the body to metabolize alcohol. This is due to either a lack of or reduced activity of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase, which is required to break down the alcohol.

Alcohol intolerance is typically caused by genetics. However, it can also result from medical conditions such as food allergies, enzyme deficiencies, and autoimmune disorders. Some medications can also cause alcohol intolerance.

woman holding her head in her hands from pain

The symptoms of alcohol intolerance are usually immediate and range from mild to severe. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Facial flushing
  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Chest pain

In addition to physical symptoms, individuals with alcohol intolerance may experience psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression. They may also experience difficulty concentrating, poor judgment, impaired coordination, and memory problems.

In more severe cases, a person may experience a dangerous drop in blood pressure or even anaphylactic shock. Unfortunately, there is no remedy for alcohol intolerance; the only way to avoid experiencing its symptoms is to avoid alcohol consumption altogether.

Can Alcohol Intolerance Be Treated?

There is currently no remedy for alcohol intolerance, and avoiding alcohol consumption is the best way to prevent these unpleasant symptoms. If you think you may be intolerant to alcohol, consult your doctor or healthcare provider to discuss your options.

Depending on the severity and cause of your alcohol intolerance, your physician may recommend lifestyle modifications or medications to reduce your sensitivity to alcohol. For example, medicines like disulfiram (Antabuse) can help reduce the amount of alcohol absorbed into the bloodstream and decrease uncomfortable reactions to alcohol.

If you do choose to drink alcohol despite being intolerant, there are some measures that you can take to minimize your risk of experiencing hangovers. 

stacked pills in a hand
  • Be mindful of the type of alcohol you are consuming. Choose alcohol with a lower concentration of alcohol, and avoid hard liquors.
  • Avoiding drinks with high amounts of sugar, caffeine, and other ingredients can help reduce the severity of a hangover. 
  • Additionally, drinking plenty of water throughout the night will help keep you hydrated and reduce dehydration-related symptoms. 
  • Eating a balanced meal before consuming alcohol will help delay the absorption of alcohol.
  • Avoid mixing different types of alcohol. Mixing different types of alcohol can cause abnormal reactions, resulting in more severe hangover symptoms or side effects. Stick to one kind of alcoholic beverage to reduce the risk of a hangover.

Following these tips can reduce your chances of having an unpleasant experience after drinking. That said, avoiding alcohol is the best way to prevent hangover symptoms for those with alcohol intolerance. If you do choose to drink, make sure to drink responsibly and always stay within your limits.

Dealing with a Hangover for Alcohol-Intolerant Individuals

Hangovers are never pleasant, but they can be particularly miserable for those with alcohol intolerance. For those with alcohol intolerance, hangover symptoms are often more intense and last longer than in non-intolerant individuals.

The best way to treat a hangover is to get plenty of rest and hydration. An anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can help reduce the headache associated with a hangover, but not over-relied on. Rehydrating agents such as Pedialyte or Gatorade can also help replenish lost electrolytes and fluids.

Eating something small, such as toast or crackers, can also help settle your stomach and reduce nausea. Ginger tea is also known to help with nausea, so it may be worth trying if you’re sick. Getting an IV infusion can also provide relief from symptoms.

glass of water with lemon and mint

IV treatments for hangovers contain hydrating fluids, vitamins and minerals, and medications that can combat symptoms. Since treatments are delivered directly into the bloodstream, you do not need to worry about trying to ingest something on a sour stomach.


It is crucial for people with alcohol intolerance to understand the symptoms and risks associated with drinking and to consult their doctor before attempting to consume any alcohol. Those who are alcohol intolerant need to be especially mindful of intake, as even minuscule amounts of alcohol can lead to uncomfortable symptoms. By taking precautions and being aware of the effects of alcohol on their body, those with alcohol intolerance can ensure they remain healthy and safe. 

It is generally best to avoid alcohol altogether if someone suspects they may have an intolerance. If individuals choose to drink, they should carefully monitor their body’s response and stop at the first sign of discomfort.

Get Your Hangover IV

Recover from a big night out with our hangover IV. This treatment helps relieve hangover symptoms by rehydrating, restoring, and replenishing your body. Infusions take less than an hour and are administered by one of our licensed nurses.

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Hangover IV - Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in our hangover IV?

Our Hangover IV treatment contains a blend of IV fluids, electrolytes, vitamins and medication to restore the vitamins in your body and help your body battle with the unwanted hangover symptoms. Among the main ingredients are B-Complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Toradol and Anti-Nausea medication. 

Why is hangover IV much more effective than hangover drinks?

Hangover IV is more effective than hangover drinks because the IV solution is introduced directly into your blood without having to go through the digestive system which is already overloaded. This means you will feel the effects much faster and feel much better very quickly. 

How long does it take for our Hangover IV to start working?

It usually takes between 30-60 minutes for you to feel the benefits of our Hangover IV drip.

What are the levels of hangover severity?

IV therapy in general is FDA approved. Our nurses are overseen by our Medical Director, Abe Malkin, and every nurse is registered and certified per state standards.

Read more: Hangover IV FAQ