Thursday, December 18, 2008

Management of alcohol withdrawal delirium. An evid...[Arch Intern Med. 2004] - PubMed Result

Management of alcohol withdrawal delirium. An evid...[Arch Intern Med. 2004] - PubMed Result: Mayo-Smith MF, Beecher LH, Fischer TL, Gorelick DA, Guillaume JL, Hill A, Jara G, Kasser C, Melbourne J; Working Group on the Management of Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium, Practice Guidelines Committee, American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Primary Care Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Manchester, NH 03104, USA.

BACKGROUND: Alcohol withdrawal delirium is the most serious manifestation of alcohol withdrawal. Evidence suggests that appropriate care improves mortality, but systematic reviews are unavailable. METHODS: Articles with original data on management of alcohol withdrawal delirium underwent structured review and meta-analysis. RESULTS: Meta-analysis of 9 prospective controlled trials demonstrated that sedative-hypnotic agents are more effective than neuroleptic agents in reducing duration of delirium and mortality, with a relative risk of death when using neuroleptic agents of 6.6. Statistically significant differences among various benzodiazepines and barbiturates were not found. No deaths were reported in 217 patients from trials using benzodiazepines or barbiturates. CONCLUSIONS: Control of agitation should be achieved using parenteral rapid-acting sedative-hypnotic agents that are cross-tolerant with alcohol. Adequate doses should be used to maintain light somnolence for the duration of delirium. Coupled with comprehensive supportive medical care, this approach is highly effective in preventing morbidity and mortality.