How dangerous is the so-called miracle cure?

A legendary evening, a disastrous morning? A “secret cure” for excessive alcohol consumption is currently being circulated.Getty Images/Cayimage/Paul Bradbury


Julia Janachek

There are many tips against a hangover the next morning: some swear by water from pickles, others with aspirin and Rollmops, and still others try to prevent a hangover themselves with enough water between drinks in the evening.

But now young people seem to swear by one thing in particular when it comes to avoiding excessive alcohol intake: electrolyte solutions.

Consumption without consequences

The drug Elotrans from the pharmaceutical company Stada is especially popular. Social media platform Tik Tok is filled with videos of young people, some of them drunk, filming themselves and announcing that they are going to try Elotrans – and then get excited for the effect. In fact, electrolyte solution is considered a cure for diarrheal diseases. Now, apparently, it is also the long-awaited cure for drinking alcohol without consequences.

Many influencers swear by Elotrans as a hangover cure.

Many influencers swear by Elotrans as a hangover cure.tik tok

Drinking wine the next day – an idea that many people probably appeal to. Could it be that easy? High demand seems to indicate this.

Because influencers aren’t the only ones who have explored the potential of electrolyte mixtures like Elotrans or tablets like Katerfly and Hang & Over as anti-hangover treatments. Your fans follow faithfully. You can find out for the fact that currently drugs are sold everywhere: WEvery Amazon pharmacy and (online) pharmacy can keep up with Elotrans delivery. According to a statement from the Berlin Watson Pharmacies Association, this bottleneck has been in place since May of this year.

When asked by Watson, a spokeswoman for the Bavarian Pharmacists’ Guild said: “We have been told that there is an increased demand for Elotrans. There are also occasional delivery bottlenecks. We know pharmacies where the preparation has not been available for some time. So some produce their own electrolyte powder at the pharmacy.It is not known what purpose it will be used.

“Wrong doses can lead to significant side effects, from cramps and diarrhea, and in the worst cases, irregular heartbeat.”

Bavarian Chamber of Pharmacists spokeswoman Watson on the use of Elotrans

On the other hand, the online resource collects reviews about the use of Elotrans, which leave no doubt about where to use the drug:

Some Amazon reviews of Elotrans.

Some Amazon reviews of Elotrans.Watson

But a spokeswoman for the Bavarian Pharmacists’ Union warns against taking Elotrans unnecessarily: “Wrong doses can lead to significant side effects, from cramps and diarrhea, and in the worst cases, irregular heartbeat.”

According to Lutz Schehrer, not only eating erroneously, but also long-term eating can be dangerous. If you use the preparation daily, Hamburger board member Apothekerverein told Watson, “Because of the potassium content it can lead to kidney damage, and because of the sodium content it raises blood pressure. The salts present should be added only if they are being excreted too much.”

Taking an electrolyte solution can quickly become dangerous, especially for people with pre-existing conditions such as heart failure, high blood pressure, or diabetes mellitus (diabetes).

Elotrans Electrolyte Agent Entirely Sold Out

The group itself does not seem to have much against its drug abuse. Anyway, your funny Instagram look leaves room for interpretation. According to the Medicines Advertising Act (HWG), misleading advertising of medicinal products is prohibited. Since Elotrans is only approved for “rehydration and electrolyte replacement in diarrheal disease,” it should not be advertised as a hangover treatment.

In response to inquiries from Der Spiegel, Stada himself said publicly that the Instagram channel in no way wanted to “reduce or relativize the risks of drinking or motivate people to drink”. The company attributes the increased demand for its diarrhea medicine to the travel season.

In fact, there are currently delivery bottlenecks not only in Elotrans: The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices currently lists more than 250 drugs that are not available – But usually only temporarily and in certain packaging sizes. This includes, for example, important daily medicines such as paracetamol, ibuprofen juices for children, asthma sprays, antihypertensives, narcotics, antidepressants and iodine tablets.

This is because For cost reasons, more and more active ingredients in medicines are being produced in a few factories, for example in China and India. While in 2000, 59 percent of the active ingredients were still produced in Europe and 31 percent in Asia, in 2020, 63 percent of the active ingredients will come from Asia. This means that delivery problems can happen more quickly.

Getting into alcoholism will be easier

Dr. Dr. Reingard Herbst, addiction physician and chief medical officer at Nescure Private Lake Clinic.

Dr. Reyngaard Herbst takes a critical look at the electrolyte trend.

Dr. Reyngaard Herbst takes a critical look at the electrolyte trend.Special

“I don’t see a problem with the use itself, but in all that it can lead users to believe,” She says in a conversation with Watson. It also finds a problem when young children or the elderly can’t get hold of the drug because partygoers use it to treat a hangover. Diarrheal diseases can be a serious risk for the very young or the elderly.

“Our society’s claim in fact doesn’t want to feel things anymore.”

Dr. Reingard Autumn

But that’s not the only concern that worries Herbst. “These are the patients of tomorrow,” she says. Her fear is that “young people will treat alcohol with greater neglect” if they no longer feel the immediate and unpleasant effects of consumption.

“By not feeling the effects, people are led to believe (…) that alcohol is supposed to be less dangerous,” the addiction doctor criticizes. She sees negligent alcohol consumption as “highly problematic”, particularly with regard to the “smooth transition into addiction”.

“This perception of the body, that it interacts with things, is something very basic. We’re in the process of always pushing everything away. Our society doesn’t want to feel anything annoying. I have a headache, I need a pill. I’m not feeling well: you have to.” You get rid of that. I have a disease: it should go away tomorrow. Our society is really demanding that we no longer want to feel things.”

Dr. Reingard Autumn

Alcohol displacement

This could be a problem: Those patients from the addiction doctor who can feel and remember how their bodies react will treat the drug very differently and more cautiously. This applies not only to physical ailments, but also to mental ones. “We also have to put up with the bad vibes and see: How long does it take and what do I have to do to get out of all this?”

“This is exactly our patients: those who can no longer feel themselves.”

Dr. Reyngard Herbst

Because alcohol and depression are often linked: this is accompanied by the desire to feel nothing anymore. “This is exactly our patients: those who can no longer feel themselves.” Some used alcohol to achieve this, so that they would not feel a thing. For example, to suppress bad feelings.

Party Like No Hangover: No problem with electrolyte solution.

Party Like No Hangover: No problem with electrolyte solution. getty images/SolisImages

And that’s exactly what’s dangerous: Because “you then quickly get into the function of the addictive substance,” says Herbst and continues:

“The moment alcohol consumption takes over a function, there will quickly be a different way of dealing with it in the brain. This means any feelings or conditions that are interpreted in a similar way in the brain, such as a change in emotional patterns, a threat or a stress reaction are shifted very quickly in the brain. The trend of “I need alcohol now, then it will go away.” You are conditioned like a dog that has to sit and sit. There is a biscuit dog for that and then you sit and sit.”

Herbst doesn’t mind if you use electrolytes against a hangover in exceptional cases: “The medicine you leave should stay where it belongs. And if you use it, that’s fine. But that’s not a license for more alcohol.”

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