Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

General or Other | General Practice | Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (Disease)


Alcohol withdrawal syndrome represents symptoms of a person who reduces or stops alcohol consumption after prolonged periods of excessive alcohol intake. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome usually appear after 5 - 10 hours of the last drink, but can occur days later. Symptoms get worse in 48 - 72 hours, and may persist for weeks.

Mild to moderate psychological symptoms include: feeling of jumpiness or nervousness, anxiety, irritability or easily excited, emotional volatility, rapid emotional changes, fatigue, difficulty with thinking clearly.

Mild to moderate physical symptoms: headache - general, pulsating, sweating, especially the palms of the hands or the face, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, insomnia, palpitations, tremor of the hands, involuntary, abnormal movements of the eyelids.

Severe symptoms are: a state of confusion and hallucinations known as delirium tremens, agitation, fever, convulsions, black outs. Blood and urine tests, including a toxicology screen, may be done.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The goal of treatment includes: reducing withdrawal symptoms, prevent complications and therapy to get you to stop drinking (abstinence). People with moderate-to-severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may need inpatient treatment at a hospital or other facility that treats alcohol withdrawal. Mild-to-moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms often can be treated in an outpatient setting. Permanent and life-long abstinence from alcohol is the best treatment for those who have gone through withdrawal. ...