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How are alcoholic seizures treated?

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Quick Answer

Benzodiazepines are the preferred pharmacological family with which to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms like seizures and delirium tremens, which can pose serious risks both to long-term health and to a patient's immediate safety, as stated by the American Academy of Family Physicians. This group of drugs includes Valium, Librium, Ativan and Serax, among many others suitable for treating alcoholic seizures.

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Full Answer

Valium and Librium are used when a difficult recovery is anticipated and a smoothing out of withdrawal symptoms is desired. They remain in the system for a long time via their extensive half-lives. This can help withdrawal patients avoid the intense trauma of withdrawal symptoms and the chance of rebound withdrawal complications.

Ativan and Serax are more commonly used when the patient is less able than others to metabolize medication. Ativan is even suited for intramuscular injection and absorption when those qualities are called for due to special needs on the withdrawal patient's part, as is common in conditions like liver failure, which make blood absorption dangerous or impossible.

An extreme dosage may be called for when symptoms become dangerous or uncontrollable. This is a rarely used tactic, but sometimes doses as high as 2,000 milligrams of Valium are necessary. Doctors do not readily embrace this approach as it can lead to many other complications and problems down the line.

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