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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 321-324

Adjunctive dexmedetomidine for treatment of delirium tremens: Case report and brief review

1 Department of Psychiatry, Command Hospital (Southern Command), Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Anaesthesia, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amresh Dubey
Department of Psychiatry, Command Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_118_20

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Alcohol withdrawal delirium (delirium tremens [DT]) is a medical emergency. Gamma-aminobutyric acid type A agonists (benzodiazepines [BZDs]) are the mainstay of treatment. Resistant alcohol withdrawal requires adjunctive medications along with BZDs and supportive care. DT is associated with significant autonomic dysfunction (sympathetic hyperactivity). Dexmedetomidine is a selective a2-adrenergic receptor agonist which reduces sympathetic over-activity and agitation in delirious patients. We present a case of alcohol withdrawal delirium (DT) who responded well to adjunctive dexmedetomidine infusion resulting in reduced sympathetic activity and reduced dose requirement of BZDs.

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