Stanislas Pol, MD; Bertrand Nalpas, MD, PhD; Pierre Berthelot, MD
Pol S, Nalpas B, Berthelot P. Dexamethasone for Alcohol Withdrawal. Ann Intern Med. 1991;114:705-706. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-114-8-705
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(8):705-706.
To the editors: The alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) is related to an increase in sympathetic nervous system activity and to a reduction in the threshold of neuronal excitability. Patients undergoing alcohol withdrawal require pharmacologic treatment because of the risk, possibly lethal, of delirium tremens. Pharmacologic treatment (usually based on neuroleptic, sedative, or anxiolytic drugs) is problematic in patients with hepatocellular failure, in whom iatrogenic encephalopathy may increase morbidity or mortality, and in patients with AWS that is resistant to psychoactive drugs.
Dexamethasone has been shown to be efficacious in the treatment of patients with delirium tremens, (1), and was especially
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