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What is the treatment for alcohol withdrawal?

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Unless you have a serious health condition or you’ve had serious withdrawals in the past, you probably won’t need more than a supportive environment to help you through. That includes:

If your blood pressure, pulse, or body temperature rises, or if you have more serious symptoms like seizures and hallucinations, your doctor could suggest inpatient care and drug treatment. Common medications include benzodiazepines to help treat symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. You might also take anti-seizure meds and antipsychotics, along with other drugs.

  • A quiet place
  • Soft lighting
  • Limited contact with people
  • A positive, supportive atmosphere
  • Healthy food and lots of fluids

From: What Is Alcohol Withdrawal? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Royal College of Physicians: “Alcohol Use Disorders: Diagnosis and Clinical Management of Alcohol-Related Physical Complications. NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 100."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome."

Alcohol Health & Research World: "Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal," "Introduction to Alcohol Withdrawal," "Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal."

State Government of Victoria: "Withdrawal."

Cleveland Clinic: "Care of the Patient Undergoing Alcohol Withdrawal."

UpToDate: "Patient education: Alcohol use -- when is drinking a problem? (Beyond the Basics)."

Industrial Psychiatry Journal : “Clinical management of alcohol withdrawal: A systematic review.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 27, 2017

SOURCES:

Royal College of Physicians: “Alcohol Use Disorders: Diagnosis and Clinical Management of Alcohol-Related Physical Complications. NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 100."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome."

Alcohol Health & Research World: "Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal," "Introduction to Alcohol Withdrawal," "Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal."

State Government of Victoria: "Withdrawal."

Cleveland Clinic: "Care of the Patient Undergoing Alcohol Withdrawal."

UpToDate: "Patient education: Alcohol use -- when is drinking a problem? (Beyond the Basics)."

Industrial Psychiatry Journal : “Clinical management of alcohol withdrawal: A systematic review.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 27, 2017

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Can you prevent alcohol withdrawal?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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