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Am Fam Physician. 1987 May;35(5):167-70.

Use of magnesium sulfate in alcohol withdrawal.


Magnesium deficiency plays an important role in alcohol withdrawal syndromes. Parenteral replacement of magnesium in the form of magnesium sulfate is safe and diminishes the severity of withdrawal symptoms in recently alcohol-abstinent patients. Early diagnosis of withdrawal illness and institution of magnesium replacement therapy decrease the need for benzodiazepines, diminish withdrawal complications and reduce the length of hospital stay. Testing for serum magnesium levels is useful, but experience supports the empiric use of magnesium replacement therapy in alcohol withdrawal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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