Apparently there’s a pill that is able to reduce the effects of alcohol after a long night of drinking and wasting away. Known as the Pepp pill, it is marketed as a health supplement but is claimed to contain enzymes that’s able to reduce the effects of alcohol by breaking down the content by 50% over 40 minutes.

This could potentially prevent drink drivers from being stopped and checked.

However, what it actually does is to reduce the apparently effects without really reducing the alcoholic content in the body. This means that a person may still be heavily intoxicated without knowing so – which potentially results in the drinker going over his or her normal limit.

It is also not known if there are other side effects. Moreover, since it is marketed as a health supplement and not a drug, there are no requirements for it to be tested by the Health Science Authority (HSA) (the FDA equivalent in U.S.).

Since the rate of intake by different people are different, this is by no means a magic pill and effects may differ. Nonetheless, if you are drinking, I think you should be responsible enough to take a cab home (despite the recent fare hike) and not risk knocking anyone down.

Hmm… I wonder if the civil servant in the article continued driving after popping the pills…

WHEN civil servant W.S. Wee asked for the bill after drinks at a bar last week, the waitress remarked that he looked flushed and told him that the bar sold pills that could reduce the effects of alcohol.

The 25-year-old regular drinker, who had downed two glasses of wine, agreed to buy two tablets for $7.

He said: ‘It sounded like a dream come true because I have a problem of turning red easily when I drink.’

He added that he felt better 10 to 15 minutes after popping the pills at Angel’s Share in Dempsey Hill, and drove home.

The Pepp pill, a health supplement pill made in Thailand and sold here since June, has been making the rounds among party-goers and people in the food and beverage industry here.

On the website www.pepp-up .com, there are claims that the pill contains enzymes that can break down alcohol content in the body by 50 per cent over 40 minutes.

Drinkers who have tried it said they were told that the pill reduces the alcohol level in their bodies so that they would feel more alert.

Sales director Daniel Chew, 36, who took the pills for the first time last Thursday evening after eight glasses of wine and champagne, said he felt like he was ‘back to normal, like I never drank at all’.

But doctors are concerned that the pills could lull drinkers into thinking that they are sober when they are not. Given that this is the festive season when people tend to drink more, there are also concerns that drinkers could take the pills so that they could drink and drive.

General practitioner S. Manimaran said: ‘I would not encourage people to take this pill. I would especially not encourage them to take it and drive or behave irresponsibly as the efficacy of the pill is uncertain. The rate of absorption varies from person to person, so one can never be sure that one’s alcohol level is reduced.’

Ms Fatimah Moideen Kutty, chief pharmacist at Alexandra Hospital, also cautioned people against taking things to increase their threshold for alcohol.

‘A lot of people overestimate their ability to tolerate alcohol. With this drug, people may not feel the effects of alcohol as much and may go on drinking above their bodies’ limits,’ she said.

Samples of Pepp have been handed out at wine launches and private parties. The pills are also sold at NTUC Unity and Guardian pharmacies. A pack of 10 goes for $16. Sales of the pill have doubled last month compared to October, said a spokesman for Unity. She declined to give any figures.

At two Guardian pharmacies, where two packs of the pills are sold for the price of one as part of a ‘festive offer’, sales staff said the pills are popular among working adults. Although the pills are also known as digestive aids, most buyers buy the pills for the ‘anti-alcohol’ effect, said sales staff.

Angel’s Share CEO Chua Peng Yam, 44, said his bar sells the Pepp pills to promote responsible drinking, not drink driving. Bigger clubs such as Zouk and St James Power Station said that they do not sell the pills.

A spokesman for the distributor, biomedical company Rockeby, said that the company does not market the pill as an ‘anti-alcohol’ pill.

Despite what the website claims, she said the pill is marketed as a digestive aid in Singapore. ‘Rockeby is a socially responsible company and does not wish to have Pepp associated with irresponsible drinking.’

The Health Sciences Authority said that the product is classified as a health supplement so it does not need to be licensed by the authority.

But a spokesman added: ‘Claims that the product can reduce alcohol levels or alleviate symptoms of hangover have not been scientifically proven.’

Sommelier J.S. Siah, 29, said that Pepp did not work for him. He still felt tipsy after taking two pills with five glasses of wine.

He said: ‘I wouldn’t recommend it to friends. If they were to take it and it doesn’t work and they were to drive, I’ll feel guilty if something were to happen.’

Additional reporting by Shuli Sudderuddin and Liaw Wy-Cin

Article obtained from on 16th December 2007

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