01

What is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can occur in chronic drinkers who abruptly stop drinking. Alcohol actively suppresses the central nervous system. Individuals may form a dependence after certain neurotransmitters in the brain become accustomed to alcohol intake. This brain function eventually requires alcohol to operate. If chronic drinking stops, the central nervous system becomes overactive, leading to withdrawal symptoms.

02

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, tremors, anxiety, gastrointestinal upset, headache, and nausea. More severe and dangerous symptoms include seizures, alcoholic hallucinosis, and delirium tremens (DT). DT is the most serious type of alcohol withdrawal and requires medical attention.

03

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

For patients experiencing more intense withdrawal symptoms, medical attention may be necessary. The most basic medical treatment involves maintaining a patient’s hydration and comfort. A number of pharmaceuticals can also relieve common alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These medications can also prevent minor symptoms from becoming more severe. The most frequently used drugs are diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and chlordiazepoxide (Librium).

Understand the standard of care for your Librium treatment case

04

Librium Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal

Clinicians may choose Librium because it is a longer-acting benzodiazepine. Librium offers sedative effects for patients experiencing withdrawal. It is often administered in response to symptoms, rather than preemptively as a patient undergoes alcohol withdrawal. Treatment with Librium also requires careful attention to patient vitals and symptom progression for the entire duration of withdrawal.

05

Librium Side Effects & Complications

Common Librium side effects include dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, and constipation. For patients with a history of liver disease or cardiopulmonary disease, Librium can lead to oversedation. Withdrawal prophylaxis should ideally have a low level of sedation — just for the comfort of the patient. If sedation is at a level that impacts neurological function, monitoring a patient for other risk factors during withdrawal becomes challenging.

06

Librium Dosing

Clinicians should administer Librium at the lowest effective dose for each patient. Librium can be habit-forming and requires careful medical supervision. Withdrawal treatment with Librium also necessitates regular dosing intervals. For each assessment of a patient’s condition and progression through withdrawal, clinicians must use their best judgment to adjust dosage without risking oversedation. Patients should not exceed a total of 300 mg per day.

This Litigation Guide was medically reviewed by Rena Zheng, M.D.