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Refractory delirium tremens treated with propofol: A case series

McCowan, Christy, MD; Marik, Paul, MD, FCCM

Clinical Investigations

Delirium tremens, the most serious manifestation of alcohol withdrawal, occurs in ∼5% of hospitalized alcoholics and has a mortality rate approaching 15%. Patients with delirium tremens are usually treated in an intensive care unit in which benzodiazepines form the cornerstone of therapy. In this report, we describe four patients who proved refractory to high doses of benzodiazepines and were successfully treated with a propofol infusion.

From the Department of Emergency Medicine (Dr. McCowan), University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, MA; and the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Critical Care (Dr. Marik), Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC.

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