Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

Burning question: Do Wellness patches actually work?

Would you try them?

words by: Natasha Marsh
Aug 23, 2022

For a good portion of 2022, I have been entertaining friends and family in my home. It has been fun, but physically taxing on my body. We have done dinners, lunches, happy hours, and full-on alcoholic benders. Non-stop. For 5 1/2 weeks. And yes, everything in moderation is remotely okay, but when you reach for your sixth drink of red wine (tequila shot), all is well until about 8AM the next day — when you might have a throbbing headache, nausea, or very intense thoughts to cancel all your meetings for the day. Yes, it’s called being hungover.


What if I told you there were new over-the-counter hangover pills, powders, and patches that could make your life easier? Giving you all the joys of partying without the mental day after. You might be thinking, can we really have it all? A night of tequila shots without consequences? No IV. No Pedialyte. Just a simple, peel off and stick on wellness patch.


What is a wellness patch?

Contrary to the results of B vitamins, caffeine, aspirin, or electrolytes — wellness patches infuse vitamins directly through your skin and into your bloodstream to prevent a hangover. Key word: Prevent. They should be taken moments before you go out or start drinking. So, do they actually work?


Sales are high enough to make us think so and with brands continuing to surface, it seems they totally do. But are they placebo, or is there finally a magical cure for hangovers?


Although there is not a be-all-cure-all hangover remedy, there are a few ingredients formulated in these wellness patches that have the power to change the industry. To start with, dihydromyricetin, an ingredient used in hospitals to treat alcohol withdrawal, are used in conjunction with B-complex vitamins and electrolytes to form a very thin patch. This combination is similar to the ingredients found in aspirin, chlorophyll, and hemp.


Below are some of the most common ingredients typically found in over-the-counter hangover pills and wellness patches.

  • Dihydromyricetin: A medication derived from a flavonoid-rich wild plant and is said to reverse liver damage from alcohol. However, there is still much research that needs to be done to prove if this hero ingredient can work to cure the liver of a hangover.
  • B vitamins: Great for brain health. Thiamine (B1) and folic acid (B9) are some of the main ingredients in IV fluid.
  • Caffeine: Too high of caffeine concentrations can be dangerous especially if taken on an empty stomach.
  • Electrolytes: Things like magnesium, sodium, potassium, and calcium all help your body maintain homeostasis and help regulate fluid levels in the body.


So, do wellness patches work?

Most experts will tell you no, mainly because there is not enough studies done to prove it. That said, people who uses these wellness and hangover patches will swear that they are the only thing that gets them through a wild night of drinking. Of course, you can do your own research on it, but you should know the risks. Although minimal, there are some.


Supplements and patches are not regulated by the FDA. Which is safe to say that companies pretty much have free range to make claims on benefits, ingredients, and safety. So, what the packaging says doesn’t have to be true. Additionally, topical patches could be irritating. As someone who has tried the patches, I didn’t seem to react to them, but there are plenty of people who have stated their skin starts to itch or become red after wearing the patch. It should be noted that most wellness patch companies have a specific time limit on how long you should be wearing it.


Regardless, there’s no harm in giving the patches a try if you want to have your cake and eat it too. Just don’t forget to keep up your hydration (there’s a patch for that too).


Photo via Getty