Which clinical history findings are characteristic of alcohol toxicity?

Updated: Jan 05, 2021
  • Author: Michael D Levine, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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A history of inebriation with associated slurred speech, ataxia, and impaired judgment is common in the initial stages of intoxication of each of these alcohols. Depending on the dose ingested, this may be followed by progressive levels of CNS depression, coma, and premorbid multiorgan failure. The history that can be obtained varies with the timing of presentation. The onset of the later stages of toxic alcohol intoxication can also be delayed if ethanol is coingested, prolonging the time it takes to develop metabolic acidosis and other symptoms. The following focuses on symptoms that may be unique to each alcohol.

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