Zofran for Hangovers

Zofran is typically prescribed for nausea caused by radiotherapy, surgery, or gastroenteritis. 

But you may be wondering whether it’s also possible to take this drug as a hangover cure. 

Below, we tell you more about what causes a hangover and whether you can take Zofran to help reduce hangover-related nausea.

Why Do We Get Hangovers after Drinking?

Hangovers are caused by drinking more alcohol than your body can handle. Your liver is able to metabolize only one unit of alcohol per hour, that is, approximately 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or a shot of vodka. If you’ve had more than that, the alcohol concentration in your blood will rise and you’ll get intoxicated.

An estimated 80% of people experience hangover symptoms such as intense thirst, muscle pain, dizziness, stomachache, brain fog, and nausea after drinking alcohol. But despite how common hangovers are, scientists still know very little about why they occur. 

Several factors may be responsible for hangovers, for example:

  • Alcohol causes electrolyte imbalance that can lead to muscle weakness and make you feel tired.
  • Alcohol is a diuretic. It makes you urinate more often, possibly leading to dehydration, which in turn will make you feel dizzy, sleepy, and lethargic.
  • Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, causing vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Alcohol interferes with glucose production, resulting in low blood sugar. If your body is not producing enough glucose, you'll feel sluggish and tired.
  • Due to too much alcohol, blood vessels start expanding, causing headaches.
  • Alcohol disrupts the circadian cycle and sleep rhythms, leaving you exhausted even after a full night’s sleep.
  • Some alcoholic beverages, such as brandy, bourbon, darker beer, and red wine, contain impurities created during the fermentation process called congeners. Congeners may cause inflammation and make your hangover more intense.

Alcohol consumption creates chemical imbalances in the body that may alter the functionality of organs and internal systems, producing a range of negative reactions and side effects. Here are some of them. 

Brain inflammation

The brain contains immune system cells known as microglia. When microglia are activated by alcohol, they release inflammatory cytokines, a type of molecule that causes inflammation in the brain. Rising overall inflammation levels in the brain may contribute to the flu-like symptoms that you feel when you have a hangover.

Oxidative stress

Oxidative stress is an imbalance in the production and elimination of oxygen-containing molecules, known as reactive oxygen species, and antioxidants. Acetaldehyde, a toxic component found in alcoholic beverages, weakens the body’s normal defenses against reactive oxygen species and provokes oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress may be responsible for hangover symptoms such as fatigue and weakness and increase the hangover headache caused by dehydration.

Glutamine rebound

Glutamine is an excitatory amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter between nerve cells. When you consume alcohol, your glutamine levels decrease and you start feeling drowsy. However, approximately 3 to 6 hours after drinking, glutamine “rebounds” or spikes to levels that are higher than normal, resulting in elevated heart rate, night sweats, and anxiety.


Alcohol suppresses the release of the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin, preventing your kidneys from holding water and leading to increased urination. Some other common hangover symptoms like diarrhea and sweating may further contribute to dehydration. Severe dehydration associated with a hangover can lead to seizures, brain damage, cardiac arrest, and even death.

Read on to learn more about the most common hangover symptoms.

Symptoms of a Hangover

You’ll usually start feeling a hangover a few hours after you stop drinking. A hangover can last for up to 72 hours, depending on how much alcohol you consumed, how dehydrated you are, whether you had something to eat, as well as on your ethnicity, gender, the health of your liver, medications you are taking, and other factors.

The most common hangover symptom include:

  • Intense thirst
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle pains
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Lack of appetite
  • Stomachache
  • Sweating 
  • Trembling or shaking hands
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Disruptive sleep
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Nausea is one of the most common symptoms of a hangover and, fortunately, there are plenty of effective anti-nausea medications available on the market. Here is more about the drug called Zofran and how it can help you fight off a hangover. 

What Is Zofran and How Does It Work?

Zofran, also known as Ondansetron, is a powerful prescription medication for severe cases of nausea and vomiting. It is usually given for radiation or chemotherapy-induced and post-operative nausea, in addition to gastroenteritis and morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy. In fact, Zofran is the most common intravenous anti-nausea medication that is given in the hospital setting.

Zofran blocks the action of a chemical called serotonin, also known as 5HT3 receptors. These receptors are situated in the small intestine and brain and trigger nausea and vomiting.

Here’s how it works.

Serotonin gets activated when you ingest something that your body considers as being toxic or irritating. In an effort to eliminate the toxin from your body as quickly as possible, serotonin triggers bowel contractions and diarrhea. The serotonin that doesn't get used enters the bloodstream and is carried to your brain. Binding to special receptors in the brain, serotonin starts a series of chemical reactions that eventually signal to your body to throw up.

Ondansetron, the active ingredient in Zofran, interrupts this chain reaction. It blocks your body’s natural response to substances that are perceived as toxic—nausea and vomiting—and restores your ability to drink and eat.

Let’s have a look at whether Zofran can also be used for nausea due to a hangover. 

Does Zofran Help with Hangover Nausea?

Although it is not usually prescribed for hangover nausea, Zofran is very likely to reduce symptoms of nausea associated with a hangover. There is no contra-indication against taking Zofran if you’ve had alcohol. 

However, it is important to only use Zofran as directed by your doctor. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you are taking any other medication, if you have underlying health issues, or if you are allergic to ondansetron. 

For the most part, Zofran is a well-tolerated drug and side effects including headache, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, or constipation are rare. Although Zofran doesn't directly interact with alcohol, you should keep in mind that some of its side effects, particularly drowsiness and dizziness, can be worsened by alcohol.

In addition to nausea medications, intravenous therapy is another way to help improve hangover symptoms. Read on to find out how.

How Can Reset IVs Products Help with a Hangover?

IV therapy is one of the fastest ways to combat nausea and other common hangover symptoms. Because nutrients completely bypass the digestive system, they are delivered directly into your bloodstream with a 100% absorption rate. Unlike medication and oral supplements, they are immediately available for use in your cells to help you feel better fast.

Reset IV offers a range of hangover packages that consist of special combinations of hydrating fluids, vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-nausea and anti-heartburn medication to help you recover from a night of drinking. Our IV bags for hangover will detox and rehydrate your body, restore nutrients lost after drinking, and cleanse your system so that you’ll be back to feeling your normal self in no time. We also provide custom blends and add-ons that can be included in any of our hangover cures to address your specific needs.

Reset IV is an on-demand concierge service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that you don’t need to leave your home to enjoy the benefits of our hangover treatments. We’ll be typically at your door within an hour of booking, depending on availability.

Reset IV hangover packages

Pre Game package

This package is made of a normal saline solution (a mixture of water and sodium chloride) that recharges the fluids necessary for normal body function and a B-vitamin complex that will replenish the nutrients you lost while drinking.

The Baller package

With the Baller package, you can choose between anti-nausea, pain relief, and anti-heartburn medication, in addition to a multivitamin cocktail. The solution contains Modified Myers Cocktail that combines vitamin C, B-vitamin complex, magnesium, and calcium to speed your hangover recovery.

Still Spinning package

The Still Spinning package consists of a base of electrolytes and your choice of anti-heartburn medication to help with acid reflux symptoms, nausea medication to calm your stomach, or pain relief medication to help get rid of headaches.

Defcon 1 package

The DEFCON 1 package offers a choice of two of the following medications: anti-nausea, anti-heartburn, and pain relief meds, in addition to a liter of fluid and electrolytes.

Hydration package

The Hydration package contains normal saline fluid that helps restore a healthy balance of fluid and electrolytes in your body while boosting your energy levels.

Contact us

To learn more about Reset IV therapy for hangovers and schedule an appointment, feel free to call us at 1-833-737-3848 or send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.