CHRISTMAS revellers have been offered a helping hand with an American hangover "cure" that claims to be second only to an "intravenous stuck in your arm".
The Bytox Hangover Prevention Patch, invented by the US plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Leonard Grossman, has gone on sale in the UK following its launch in New York late last year.
According to the packaging, the patch replenishes the vitamins and acids lost when consuming alcohol, although it has not received any official medical backing either here or in the US.
It has, however, received glowing reviews from consumers who have posted on websites, with one writing: "I tried it twice. Both times after nine or 10 Martinis. I can only account for myself. It works great."
Users are instructed to attach the patch - which is similar in appearance and design to a nicotine patch - 45 minutes before drinking and leave it on until the next day or about eight hours after they finish drinking.
Dr Grossman has claimed that the ingredients - B vitamins, acai berry, vitamins A, D, E and K and folic - are delivered continuously to the bloodstream as opposed to those from a pill which are excreted relatively quickly.
Firebox, which is selling the patch in the UK, says on its website: "The rationale for this 'game changing' body patch is to stop hangovers before they start.
"Easily applied, it is infused with a powerful blend of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants which are absorbed whilst imbibing, meaning a faster recovery time. American inventor Dr Leonard Grossman claims 'only an intravenous stuck in your arm while drinking could be more effective than a Bytox patch'."
It adds: "It won't however prevent you getting drunk and definitely won't prevent embarrassing and/or regrettable behaviour."
Ben Redhead, product manager at Firebox, said: "Look, we'd never usually encourage excess partying but the Firebox team, armed with the Bytox Hangover Prevention Patch, are definitely intending to take it up a level this Christmas.
"And if the patch means more productivity at work the next day then bingo, we're not only helping cure hangovers but we're helping the economy too."
The patches cost £12.99 for a pack of five.