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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Alcohol Withdrawal: Symptoms & Signs
      Category : Health Centers > Alcoholism

Alcohol Withdrawal

Alternate Names : DTs, Delirium Tremens

Alcohol Withdrawal | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually occur within 12 to 72 hours after the last drink of alcohol. Major withdrawal symptoms may occur for up to 7 days, with recurring symptoms lasting for several months. A person going through withdrawal may have a wide variety of symptoms, including:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • excessive sweating, especially on the hands and face
  • fatigue
  • hallucinations
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • nervousness
  • palpitations, or an abnormal awareness of the heart beating in the chest
  • rapid heartbeat
  • seizures
  • shaking and tremors
  • trouble concentrating
  • If left untreated, alcohol withdrawal can lead to a more serious set of symptoms called delirium tremens or DTs. These symptoms usually appear about 2 to 10 days after the drinking stops. A person with DTs is anxious at first. Later, other symptoms occur that can include:

  • confusion
  • difficulty sleeping, including nightmares
  • disorientation with visual hallucinations
  • excessive sweating
  • fever
  • hallucinations and illusions that arouse fears and restlessness
  • severe depression

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    Alcohol Withdrawal: Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors


    Alcohol Withdrawal: Diagnosis & Tests

    Author: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/14/01


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