We describe the various phases of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome with special reference to the pitfalls of using neuroleptics. We outline the importance of adequate sedation using either benzodiazepines or chlormethiazole. We provide a critical appraisal of the currently employed anti-epileptic medication in the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. We also indicate the usefulness of analgesic nitrous oxide as a screening test in differentiating the cases of alcohol withdrawal syndrome needing further intensive therapy to prevent progression to delirium tremens.
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