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July 10, 1967

Comparative Evaluation of Treatments of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndromes

Author Affiliations

From the Wood (Wis) Veterans Administration Hospital and the Marquette University School of Medicine, Milwaukee.

JAMA. 1967;201(2):99-102. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130020045009

In a clinical comparative study, 49 patients were treated for the tremulous and agitated states and acute hallucinosis of alcohol withdrawal. Thirteen patients were treated with promazine hydrochloride, and 12 each with paraldehyde and chloral hydrate, alcohol, or chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride. Of these therapies, paraldehyde with chloral hydrate was most effective and best tolerated. Twenty-three patients were treated for delirium tremens. Twelve were treated with promazine and suffered numerous complications, including death in two cases. Eleven were treated with paraldehyde and chloral hydrate with prompt clearing of hallucinations; there were no failures and only one complication (transient fever).