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Alcohol withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is the set of symptoms seen when an individual reduces or stops alcohol consumption after prolonged periods of excessive alcohol intake. Excessive use of alcohol leads to tolerance, physical dependence, and an alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The withdrawal syndrome is largely due to the central nervous system being in a hyper-excitable state. The withdrawal syndrome can include seizures and delirium tremens and may lead to excito-neurotoxicity.

Source: Wikipedia

What are the symptoms?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with alcohol withdrawal, 67% report having abusing alcohol, 66% report having seizures, and 55% report having abnormal involuntary movements. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of alcohol withdrawal are abusing alcohol, seizures, abnormal involuntary movements, and antisocial behavior, although you may still have alcohol withdrawal without those symptoms.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with alcohol withdrawal often receive hematologic tests, complete blood count, intravenous fluid replacement, kidney function tests, glucose measurement, electrolytes panel, urinalysis and electrocardiogram .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with alcohol withdrawal include lorazepam, thiamine, chlordiazepoxide, folic acid, diazepam (valium), magnesium sulfate, clorazepate, lvp solution, plasma protein fraction (plasmanate), disulfiram (antabuse), isradipine, fluorometholone ophthalmic and triazolam (halcion) .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for alcohol withdrawal include age 30-44 years, sex == male and age 45-59 years. On the other hand, age 5-14 years, age 1-4 years, and age < 1 years almost never get alcohol withdrawal.

Age

< 1 years
0.0x
1-4 years
0.0x
5-14 years
0.0x
15-29 years
0.5x
30-44 years
2.0x
45-59 years
2.2x
60-74 years
0.5x
75+ years
0.2x

Sex

Male
1.8x
Female
0.4x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
0.6x
Hispanic
0.9x
White
1.1x
Other
1.0x
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