What is the efficacy of ethanol as a treatment for 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

Comparative or randomized studies have not demonstrated efficacy for this treatment, and this therapy was inferior to diazepam in a prospective, randomized trial. [15] As IV ethanol has a short duration of action; a narrow margin of safety; and toxic effects on the gastric mucosa, pancreas, liver, and bone marrow and on other organs, and requires considerable volumes of fluids for administration, this treatment cannot be recommended.


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