What are characteristics of withdrawal seizures (rum fits) associated with delirium tremens (DTs)?

Updated: Nov 06, 2020
  • Author: Michael James Burns, MD, FACEP, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

Withdrawal seizures (rum fits) occur within 6-48 hours of alcohol cessation; they are major motor seizures that take place during withdrawal in patients who normally have no seizures and have normal electroencephalograms (EEGs). These seizures are typically generalized and brief. In the absence of treatment, multiple seizures occur in 60% of patients, but the duration between the first and last seizure is usually less than 6 hours. Only 3% of patients go on to develop status epilepticus.


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