What is the role of neuroleptic drug therapy in the treatment of 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

Neuroleptic drug therapy is inferior to sedative-hypnotic drug therapy in reducing mortality or the duration of severe alcohol withdrawal. [27] Neuroleptic drugs are associated with more adverse effects, including lowering of seizure threshold, hypotension, prolonged QT interval, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome. These precautions apply to the older neuroleptics. Little experience with the newer neuroleptics (atypical antipsychotics) exists in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal.


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