Christmas season in the pharmacy

It’s that time of year again! Christmas parties and festivities are all around us and as every pharmacy assistant knows it’s time to start getting ready for the Christmas rush.

There are customers making the final dash for that last elusive present and just a few looking for help to cure (or prevent) the dreaded Christmas party hangover.


James enters the pharmacy and walks to the back counter. You approach James and ask him how you can assist. James indicates that he has his work Christmas party that evening and was told he could come and get a few items to assist in alleviating a hangover the next day.

What products can we recommend?

  • Hydralyte: Replaces fluids and electrolytes
  • Hydrodol capsules: Replaces amino acids, some B Vitamins and contains a Chinese herb (pueraria lobate), which has been traditionally used for centuries to relieve hangovers
  • Paracetamol: Gentle on the stomach, mild pain relief
  • B group vitamin supplements: Replaces the vitamins that have been depleted through the consumption of alcohol e.g. Berocca.


What advice can we offer?

You begin by reminding James that drinking in moderation is the key to avoiding a hangover. However, hydrating between drinks with water or using a product like Hydrodol while consuming alcohol will assist with the dilution of alcohol and will aid essential vitamin and mineral replacement.

You let James know that another excellent tip is drinking Hydralyte and plenty of water before going to bed as this will help reduce the effects of dehydration. Taking essential B group vitamins the next day will assist with replacing the vitamins depleted the night before. Importantly, pain killers can be used, but not until waking the following day.

The result

James liked the idea of preventing a hangover, but also wanted some post-big night remedies. He decided on a packet of Hydrodol to take while he was out and bought a four-pack of Hydralyte Electrolyte Solution for the following day.

On his next visit to the pharmacy, you noticed James buying more Hydralyte Electrolyte Solution. He comes to the counter to pay and thanks you for your sage advice.

James won’t be the only person having a big night around this time of year, so here are my top tips for customers asking for hangover remedies and preventative measures:

  • Some people have more water in their bodies to assist in the dilution of the alcohol they consume, men in particular. If you’re a woman, it’s best not to match drinks with your male friends.
  • Have water between each alcoholic drink, this will assist in dilution and reduce the amount of alcohol consumed.
  • Watch what you drink. Some alcoholic beverages have higher alcohol content in smaller forms and are more likely to give you that next day headache i.e. red wine and whiskey.
  • Taking a pain killer before you go to bed in order to ward off a hangover won’t help; by the time you wake up the pain killer will most likely have worn off. If you need one, take it when you wake up.
  • Avoid hair of the dog cures and caffeine the morning after. This will just cause you to become more dehydrated.
  • Avoid saunas and sweating it out, this can also result in dehydration and impair the blood flow in the body.
  • Drink water before you go to bed to help dilute the alcohol.
  • Eat a good meal before you go out. Fatty, carbohydrate loaded foods are recommended as fat slows the body’s absorption of alcohol.
  • The last and most obvious one: The best way to avoid a hangover is to not drink to excess.

And finally, be safe and have a merry Christmas and a happy new year

Sherree Walters
Trainer and Assessor, Guild Training


1 thought on “Christmas season in the pharmacy”

  1. Christmas is a really fun season. People tend to enjoy too much and forget about their health, and after the holiday season, people come to the pharmacy to get some medications to treat a stomach ache, headaches, and other pains.

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