What is the new £1 hangover prevention pill and how does it work?

Hangover prevention pill. (Getty Images)
It seems you no longer need to let a hangover ruin your day. (Getty Images)

A new pill that could help some drinkers to "wake up feeling their best the next day", i.e. beat a hangover, has gone on sale for the first time in the UK today.

Myrkl is the first supplement in history to break down up to 70% of alcohol consumed within an hour, the company claims.

Branded as a 'pre-drinking pill' that has been "independently tested and clinically proven to work", it needs to be taken in a double dose at least one hour before drinking for maximum effect.

The £1-a-pop capsule can remain effective for up to 12 hours after, meaning there is no need to take more than two capsules per day.

As it is "in no way designed as an excuse to drink beyond NHS guidelines" and is instead aimed at regular moderate drinkers, Myrkl has also teamed up with Embarrassing Bodies’ Dr Dawn Harper to discuss the UK’s serious public health concern of excess alcohol consumption.

Read more: Binge drinking just once a week raises the risk of health problems almost fivefold

Myrkl breaks down alcohol in the gut before it reaches the liver. (Myrkl)

Myrkl is 100% natural and vegan and is made up of high-performing bacteria called Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis, enriched with L-Cysteine (an amino acid supplement) and Vitamin B12 (helps keep the nervous system healthy), which break down alcohol in the gut before it reaches the liver. It also boosts energy and immunity levels.

The company states that all ingredients are authorised and recognised as safe by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the US Food Drug Administration (FDA).

The formulation is a result of 30 years of research and development led by Swedish medical company De Faire Medical (DFM).

In an independent clinical trial, those who drank two glasses of wine and took the supplement before drinking had on average 50% less alcohol in their blood after 30 minutes, and 70% less after 60 minutes, significantly reducing the impact on the body.

Read more: Should we give up wine? New study links drinking to dementia

“Marking the first time in history that a consumer product is demonstrated to effectively and rapidly break down alcohol, we are very excited to be launching this groundbreaking product in the UK and in most European markets," says Håkan Magnusson, CEO at Myrkl.

“Moderate social drinking is a huge part of British culture, with the majority of British people heading out each week to enjoy a few drinks together. Myrkl’s purpose is therefore to help those regular moderate drinkers to wake up feeling their best the next day, whether they’re a busy working professional, young parents, or seniors who want to maintain an active social life."

Magnusson points out that the independent clinical trials "prove just how powerful" this product is at breaking down alcohol.

"Whilst Myrkl is in no way designed as an excuse to drink beyond NHS guidelines, we are really convinced that Myrkl is a game-changing product for those regular moderate drinkers, and we can’t wait for the British public to try it out.”

Speaking in a new video, Dr Dawn Harper, emphasises, "To be clear, this is not a product for the person who wants to go out and drink to excess – the way Myrkl works is it increases the breakdown of alcohol and therefore reduces the amount absorbed into your system. So you will still get some absorption and some of that jolliness that you experience when drinking alcohol.

"If you want to go out and get drunk, Myrkl would simply mean that it would take you a lot longer and cost you a lot more. Where I see Myrkl could be relevant is for the huge number of moderate drinkers in the UK.”

The company reiterates that Myrkl works by breaking down alcohol fast and is not designed to alleviate the impact of excess alcohol consumption.

"Consumers should not use Myrkl as an excuse to drink more alcohol, and consumption must always remain within NHS and government guidelines," it states. "

The purpose of Myrkl is to help everyone wake up feeling their best the next day, and to not compromise who they are."

Myrkl will only be available via the company's website, costing £30 for a pack of 30 Myrkl capsules in the UK.

It is not suitable for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or under the age of 18.

Read more: What is pancreatitis, the condition Travis Barker was reportedly hospitalised with?

Man taking hangover prevention pill. (Getty Images)
While taking Myrkl before drinking can help you feel fresh, you still shouldn't exceed NHS drinking guideline limits. (Getty Images)

To reduce health risks from alcohol to a low level if you drink most weeks, the NHS states:

  • Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis

  • Spread your drinking over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week

  • If you want to cut down, try to have several drink-free days each week

It explains that 14 units is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of lower-strength wine.

For more information on drinking responsibly, see the NHS' pages on alcohol units and drinking less.