The “Forgotten” Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium With Electroconvulsive Therapy: Successful Use in a Very Prolonged and Severe Case

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Abstract

Objective

Alcohol withdrawal delirium (AWD) is a notorious complication in alcohol withdrawal. Usually, the symptomatic treatment is efficacious; however, some patients show treatment resistance or a prolonged course of AWD.

Method

We report the case of a patient with a prolonged and severest form of AWD. Even 11 weeks after admission, he received approximately 100 mg diazepam per week to manage the symptoms of withdrawal delirium.

Results

A treatment course of electroconvulsive therapy was initiated, which allowed a complete tapering off of benzodiazepines during electroconvulsive therapy without adverse effects.

Conclusions

The reported case might contribute to alternative approaches reserved for severest forms of prolonged AWD.

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