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February 1971

Evaluating Changes in Symptoms During Acute Alcohol Withdrawal

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Perry Point, Md (Dr. Klett), the Veterans Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif (Dr. Hollister), and the Veterans Administration Central Office, Washington, DC (Drs. Caffey and Kaim).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(2):174-178. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750080078013

Male patients experiencing the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal were assigned at ramdom to double-blind treatment with chlordiazepoxide, chlorpromazine, hydroxyzine, thiamine, or placebo for a period of ten days. They were rated three times daily by nursing personnel using a Nurses' Rating Scale and were asked to complete a Mood Scale daily. Patients generally showed a rapid improvement in different symptom areas regardless of the group to which they had been assigned. Treatment comparisons suggested that fewer symptoms were associated with placebo and thiamine treatment than with the three psychoactive drugs. However, the greater incidence of convulsions and delirium occurring in these two groups as compared with the chlordiazeposide group more than offset any advantage that may exist for what is essentially supportive treatment.

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