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January 1991

Isopropyl Alcohol Intoxication-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology Tufts University 750 Washington St Boston, MA 02111

Arch Neurol. 1991;48(1):18. doi:10.1001/archneur.1991.00530130026008

In Reply.  —We agree with Dr Wrenn that identification of the specific offending alcohol is important in managing patients with acute intoxications. One purpose of our report was to alert readers to the laboratory findings in patients with acute isopropyl alcohol intoxication, a disorder that we believe is common, yet little appreciated. Unfortunately, many breathalyzer tests as well as a newly introduced "saliva alcohol dipstick" method1 do not distinguish between alcohols. We agree with his comments about management of the acute intoxications, including generous administration of thiamine in these patients, many of whom also abuse ethanol and eat sparingly and poorly.Among the intoxicant alcohols (ethanol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, ethylene glycol) isopropyl alcohol and ethanol are the only ones that are repeatedly and deliberately ingested for prolonged periods. The chronic effects of isopropyl alcohol are thus important. We are pleased to know that Wrenn's neurological experience in emergency medicine

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