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Showing posts with the label Alcohol

Physical Examination in Case of Alcohol Use Disorder

Physical Examination in Case of Alcohol Use Disorder The examination begins with an inspection of the general demeanour and physique.  General Physical Examination  On general physical examination, observe signs of agitation, sweating, and bruises and note the respiratory rate.  Agitation or restlessness   Sweating   Bruises  Respiratory rate   Examination of hands and arms Examine the arms and hands for signs of hepatic disease or cerebellar dysfunction (tremor/dysdiadokokinesia and finger-nose test).  Inspect for Palmar erythema Dupuytren’s contracture   Clubbing   Koilonychia   Nicotine stains 

WHO 2012 Guidelines for the Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal

WHO 2012 Guidelines to treat Alcohol Withdrawal Clinicians should advise supported withdrawal in patients before beginning treatment. The World Health Organization recommends benzodiazepines as front-line medication for the management of alcohol withdrawal.  Long-acting benzodiazepines are superior to shorter-acting ones, except in cases of impaired hepatic metabolism.  Clinicians should determine the dose and duration individually.  The duration of benzodiazepine treatment should be 3 to 7 days. Clinicians should not use antipsychotic medications as stand-alone medications for the management of alcohol withdrawal.  Advise Benzodiazepines , and not anticonvulsants, following an alcohol withdrawal seizure. Clinicians should dispense psychoactive medication in small doses.   Patients at risk of severe withdrawal, or who have concurrent serious physical or psychiatric disorders, or who lack adequate support, should preferably remain in an inpatient setting.  As part of withdrawal manag

WHO Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment Guidelines

What interventions are safe and effective for the management of alcohol withdrawal, including treatment for alcohol withdrawal seizures and prevention and treatment for acute Wernicke's encephalopathy? Alcohol withdrawal can be uncomfortable and occasionally life-threatening. Pharmacological management of alcohol withdrawal is an essential component of alcohol dependence. Benzodiazepines (BZDs), non-sedating anticonvulsants, and antipsychotics are commonly used in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal.  Given that they are all potentially toxic medications, what is the evidence that the benefits of their use justify the risks? Which is more effective? Below, I summarize the  WHO 2012 Guidelines to treat Alcohol Withdrawal that explains the answers to these questions. 

Clinical Vignette: Preventing Complication in A Man with Agitation

Clinical Vignette: Preventing Complication in A Man with Agitation A 30-year-old man, who is a heavy alcohol drinker, presented to the emergency department with agitation, altered sensorium, marked tremors, visual hallucinations. On assessment, he is unaware of the time, place, and person. His blood pressure and pulse were 160/11 and 115/min on arrival but fluctuated on monitoring. A GP had given him haloperidol IM and diazepam IV to control his behavioral disturbance.  What treatment-complication could arise? a)        Seizures b)       Over-sedation c)        Respiratory depression d)       Arrhythmia e)        Worsening agitation Benzodiazepines for the Treatment of Catatonia Safest Treatment Option for Delirium Tremens WHO Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment Guidelines

Disulfiram-like reaction

Disulfiramlike Reaction Disulfiram irreversibly inhibits aldehyde dehydrogenase, by competing with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide at the cysteine residue. Aldehyde dehydrogenase is a hepatic enzyme of alcohol metabolism converting ethanol to acetaldehyde. At therapeutic doses of disulfiram, alcohol consumption causes elevated serum acetaldehyde, causing manifestations given below. Manifestations • Diaphoresis • Facial flushing • Hypotension • Nausea • Palpitations • Tachycardia • Vertigo We call this constellation of symptoms the disulfiram-alcohol reaction; it discourages alcohol intake. The severity of the reaction is proportional to the dose of disulfiram, and that of alcohol. It is NOT an anti-craving drug and DOES NOT affect the neurobiology of addiction. NICE guidelines on the Use of Disulfiram Disulfiram should be considered in combination with a psychological intervention for patients who wish to achieve abstinence, but for whom acamprosate or naltrexone is not