The utility of diazepam loading in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal among psychiatric inpatients

I. M. Salloum, J. R. Cornelius, D. C. Daley, M. E. Thase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of an objective rating scale (the modified Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol [CIWA-A]) and a diazepam loading dose (20 mg) in the management of alcohol withdrawal among hospitalized psychiatric patients. The sample consisted of 152 adult, hospitalized, psychiatric patients with comorbid alcohol dependence. Of the 152 subjects, 115 (75.7%) completed detoxification with supportive therapy only. Among the 37 patients who required pharmacotherapy (24%), 15 (40.5%) required only one 20-mg dose of diazepam, 14 (38%) required 40 mg to 100 mg, and 8 (21.6%) required doses ranging from 120 mg to 220 mg. There were no complications related to this treatment. The results suggest that the use of the objective rating scale and the diazepam loading dose appears to be safe and effective, and is a useful method for the management of alcohol withdrawal among psychiatric patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-310
Number of pages6
JournalPsychopharmacology bulletin
Volume31
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • alcohol withdrawal
  • assessment
  • diazepam loading
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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