0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
ARTICLE |

Pharmacological Management of Alcohol Withdrawal:  A Meta-analysis and Evidence-Based Practice Guideline

Michael F. Mayo-Smith, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1997;278(2):144-151. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550020076042.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Objective.  —To provide an evidence-based practice guideline on the pharmacological management of alcohol withdrawal.

Data Soureces.  —English-language articles published before July 1, 1995, identified through MEDLINE search on "substance withdrawal—ethyl alcohol" and review of references from identified articles.

Study Selection.  —Articles with original data on human subjects.

Data Abstraction.  —Structured review to determine study design, sample size, interventions used, and outcomes of withdrawal severity, delirium, seizures, completion of withdrawal, entry into rehabilitation, adverse effects, and costs. Data from prospective controlled trials with methodologically sound end points corresponding to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, were abstracted by 2 independent reviewers and underwent meta-analysis.

Data Synthesis.  —Benzodiazepines reduce withdrawal severity, reduce incidence of delirium (-4.9 cases per 100 patients; 95% confidence interval, -9.0 to -0.7; P=.04), and reduce seizures (-7.7 seizures per 100 patients; 95% confidence interval, -12.0 to -3.5; P=.003). Individualizing therapy with withdrawal scales results in administration of significantly less medication and shorter treatment (P<.001). β-Blockers, clonidine, and carbamazepine ameliorate withdrawal severity, but evidence is inadequate to determine their effect on delirium and seizures. Phenothiazines ameliorate withdrawal but are less effective than benzodiazepines in reducing delirium (P=.002) or seizures (P<.001).

Conclusions.  —Benzodiazepines are suitable agents for alcohol withdrawal, with choice among different agents guided by duration of action, rapidity of onset, and cost. Dosage should be individualized, based on withdrawal severity measured by withdrawal scales, comorbid illness, and history of withdrawal seizures. β-Blockers, clonidine, carbamazepine, and neuroleptics may be used as adjunctive therapy but are not recommended as monotherapy.

Topics

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Figures

Tables

References

Letters

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();