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January 4, 1971

Diphenylhydantoin For Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndromes

Author Affiliations

Hines, Ill

JAMA. 1971;215(1):119. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180140083024

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To the Editor.—  In this large (1,400-bed) hospital, alcoholic patients enter three different services (neurology, medicine, psychiatry). Those who are in a special 30-bed unit of the psychiatry service come via transfer from the other two services either after detoxification or directly. Whatever the source, those on the alcoholism research and treatment program of the psychiatry service are supposed to be detoxified, but such is not always the case. Various sequelae of excessive alcohol intake are encountered and treated. This communication intends to call attention to an effective regime for the prevention and management of one such problem, the alcohol withdrawal syndromes (seizures, impending delirium tremens, psychomotor excitation).Central nervous system depressants are commonly used to abate, prevent, or treat this complication of alcoholism. It is our belief that the tremors, apprehension, and psychomotor excitation are rebound phenomena from an abruptly discontinued central nervous system depressant (alcohol) and should not