Which medications are used in the treatment of Wernicke encephalopathy (WE)?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Philip N Salen, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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The cornerstone of therapy for prevention or treatment of WE in most alcoholic patients is thiamine until the patient resumes a normal diet. Administer daily oral thiamine (100 mg) on a long-term, outpatient basis.

As previously stated, patients with WE are likely hypomagnesemic and should be treated empirically with parenteral magnesium sulfate, as they may be unresponsive to parenteral thiamine in the presence of hypomagnesemia. [6] After correction of hypomagnesemia in conjunction with thiamine repletion, the blood transketolase activity can return to normal and clearing of the clinical signs of WE may occur.

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