Alcohol withdrawal natural history, complications and prognosis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Shakiba Hassanzadeh, MD[2] Aditya Govindavarjhulla, M.B.B.S. [3]

Overview

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually resolve within seven days of alcohol intake discontinuation. Most patients with alcohol withdrawal have mild symptoms and may be treated with outpatient management. 5% of patients with alcohol withdrawal will present with severe alcohol withdrawal characteristics including seizures and delirium tremens (DT). 5% of patients with alcohol withdrawal and delirium tremens (DT) die from various complications.

Natural History

Complications

5% of patients with alcohol withdrawal and delirium tremens (DT) die from complications such as:[3][4]

Prognosis

References

  1. Muncie HL, Yasinian Y, Oge' L (2013). "Outpatient management of alcohol withdrawal syndrome". Am Fam Physician. 88 (9): 589–95. PMID 24364635.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Schuckit MA (2014). "Recognition and management of withdrawal delirium (delirium tremens)". N Engl J Med. 371 (22): 2109–13. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1407298. PMID 25427113.
  3. VICTOR M, ADAMS RD (1953). "The effect of alcohol on the nervous system". Res Publ Assoc Res Nerv Ment Dis. 32: 526–73. PMID 13134661.
  4. Cutshall BJ (1965). "The Saunderssutton syndrome: an analysis of delirium tremens". Q J Stud Alcohol. 26 (3): 423–48. PMID 5858249.
  5. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders : DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association. 2013. ISBN 0890425558.