DR DAEPPEN and colleagues1 report in this issue of the ARCHIVES the use of an individualized treatment regimen to determine the number of doses of benzodiazepine administered during alcohol withdrawal in patients specifically entering an alcoholic treatment program at Lausanne and Geneva university hospitals in Switzerland. Because patients were excluded from the study if they had their last alcoholic beverage more than 72 hours preceding admission; if they were using other medications before admission that might influence alcohol withdrawal; if they had major cognitive, psychiatric, or medical comorbidity; or if they were users of concurrent opiates and stimulants, the results of this study are probably not generalizable to the usual population of alcoholic patients admitted to most hospitals in the United States. Only 117 (6%) of 2000 consecutive patients admitted to the treatment program in Switzerland were ultimately included for analysis in the study.
Fitzgerald FT. As the Occasion ArisesPRN Sedative Orders in Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(10):1093-1094. doi:10.1001/archinte.162.10.1093