We here at Short Order have been through just about every hangover remedy available to mankind -- honey, Advil, Alka-Seltzer, Gatorade, more booze, Red Bull, and some crazy drink that you're actually supposed to mix with alcohol.
While they all work eventually, there's still that initial down time between when you first wake up head banging and cotton-mouthed and when the aspirin starts to kick in.
When, dear lord, will someone invent something that prevents a hangover?
Enter the Bytox patch. Think of it as a flu shot for drinkers. The goal is to stop hangovers before they start by pumping a slow and steady stream of B vitamins into your body as you drink -- thus supposedly replenishing your body of the essential nutrients you're taking away by indulging in your bad alcoholic behavior.
The patch is designed to be worn 45 minutes before you start drinking,
and up to eight hours after you stop. Bytox is available at most grocery stores and the Gansevoort Hotel in New York City. It's also available online for $2.99 each.
Just in time for New Year's Eve, Short Order called up the doc behind the patch to find out why he thinks it really works. Dr. Leonard Grossman is a New York plastic surgeon who helped create the
patch (as well as being the man who coined the term Brazilian Butt
Lift). Dr. Grossman told us how the patch allegedly works and his
self-experimentation with hangover cures.
New Times: How did the Bytox hangover patch come about?
Dr. Leonard Grossman: A
son of a friend called me up one morning after celebrating the birth of
his child a little too much. He was hung over and asked if there was
anything I could do, so I called a friend of mine who is into anti-aging
hormonal therapy and he said to give him an IV and some thiamine. Two
minutes after the IV was started, my friend's son felt terrific and said why can't we
do this for everybody?
Well, an IV would never work, but I
started thinking what else would deliver drugs quickly without having to
swallow a pill? A patch would work. I was a bit skeptical myself, at
How did you test the patch?
We went out and
had a few shots, all in the name of science. I'm well over my college
days, and I really only drink wine with my wife. In a matter of one
hour, I had six shots of vodka wearing the patch. I was pretty amazed
because the next morning I was absolutely crystal clear. We've given out
thousands of these patches to friends and everyone raves about it.
Halloween, for example, I tried it again. I drank about 12 shots of
tequila at a party. The next day I felt so good, I didn't remember that I
drank that much.
You don't need FDA approval?
No, because it contains ingredients that are currently available. We do plan to conduct a clinical double blind study, and we have tested the patch on thousands of people.
How exactly does the patch work?
The principle is very simple. When you drink alcohol, your body is
depleted of B vitamins and other nutrients, and that affects the central
nervous system. The patch is not as quick as an IV, but it does
permeate through the skin. And it contains vitamin B-1 (thiamine). So
if you wear the patch before you drink as the night progresses,
you're not feeling the effect of drinking.
Who is your target audience?
The product is not created to encourage people to drink more. We're
catering to the intelligent drinker. You know, the business person who's
in town for a presentation. He goes out and drinks too much with
associates then the next day, he's done. He can't produce. With the
patch, he can impress everyone.
What happens if I wear the patch without drinking? Do I get a buzz?
I've done Red Bull, I've done 5-Hour Energy before and I've never felt
any different. But this patch does kind of the same thing. You can feel
sharper. It probably does have the same effect as an energy pill because
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those pills contain vitamin B-12, but unless you do a study of 1,000
people, you can't claim the benefits.
Is this a miracle cure for hangovers?
No, it's not. Let's say you normally drink two Martinis in a night. Wear the patch, and you can drink three. If you're going to drink the whole liquor store, I can't help you.