Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Alcohol withdrawal states Withdrawal syndrome

Not every heavy drinker will suffer a withdrawal syndrome, but, for most who do, it is unpleasant Onset: three to six hours after last drink Duration: fi ve to seven days Common withdrawal symptoms: headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating and tremor. Generalised (grand mal) convulsions may occur during withdrawal Delirium tremens

This occurs in about 5% of those suffering from alcohol withdrawal Onset: 48–72 hours or more after last drink Features: the characteristic symptoms of delirium (agitation, confusion, visual and auditory hallucinations and paranoia) plus the marked tremor of alcohol withdrawal Complications: delirium tremens is serious because of associated complications: fi ts, hyperthermia, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, shock and chest infection Prognosis: in hospital practice the mortality is high, about 10%

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