90% of alcohol induced seizures occur within 48 hours after the last drink. Nevertheless, there is a small chance that a seizure will occur, even passed this window of time. What type of prevention is administrated?
When you withdrawal from alcohol you might feel anxious, depressed, or your heart may race. Those that have extensive alcohol abuse and goto the emergency room are typically handled very swiftly. The greatest health risk during alcohol withdrawal are seizures. it is estimated that the risk of death during alcohol withdrawal is between 1%-5%. During withdrawals you may experience something called delirium tremens (DTs) which is associated with confusion, hallucinations, a rapid heartbeat, and fever. (to name some) If a person is displaying signs of DTs than that person is much more likely to have severe complications. People who experience DTs have a 5%-25% mortality rate.
Are you familiar with a group of medicines classified as Benzodiazepines. Never heard of them? Sure you have. Benzodiazepines include drugs such as (Alprazolam) Xanax, (Diazepam) Valium and Klonipin (Clonazepam) These are the drugs that a person who is going through alcohol withdrawal are commonly given. Valium is the most frequently used for alcohol detox. (in a combination) Benzodiazepines have been the choice drug since Valium hit the market in the early 1960’s. It is not the only medication for seizures but it is a popular choice.
Initially, Valium got a bad rap, not long after it became popular. People became addicted and dependent to Valium and it was ridiculed endlessly. However, the amenities that this drug provides is overwhelming. In fact, (valium) benzodiazepines would replace a class of medications called Barbiturates. This was actually a monumental feat because Barbiturates were extremely toxic, addictive, and had dependency issues. Although, Valium got a bad rap, it did provide people who were detoxing from alcohol some relief from seizures. It is generally used as temporary fix, until the alcohol withdrawal recedes.
Valium is the go to drug. However, there are others. For example, Librium is another benzodiazepine that is commonly prescribed by doctors who believe the patient is a chronic alcoholic and with the proper dosage and treatment it can manage a patients symptoms. This medication is commonly given out because it is the less likely to cause addiction and abuse, while acting as an anti-seizure medication. Point- there are choices and Valium is not the only medication used.
Valium has been a chosen for withdrawal from alcohol for a long time. Although, other anti-seizure medications such as Tegretol and Depakene show promise, Valium is usually one of the ingredients used when treating people who are going through severe alcohol withdrawal. Valium effects what are called GABA receptors. (Gamma-amino butyric acid) Now, although, it is not clear how Valium prevents seizures, it is clear that it inhibits the seizures through the stimulation of the GABA receptors.
Valium has a very long-half-life. This means, it stays in your system for a long time and is one of the main reasons it is chosen for alcohol detox. Keeping a benzo in your system at heightened levels for long periods of time can be extremely beneficial. Not to mention, many side effects a person might experience, can be eased by Valium. However, long-term use of this drug is frowned upon. It is very addictive.
You need to be careful with alcohol withdrawal. It is a serious problem, and trying to “sweat” it out is a bad idea. If you are experiencing tremors, heart palpitations or increased heart rate, fever, anxiety, depression, and other examples mentioned in this article- head to the emergency room. Seizures can be deadly. Alcohol withdrawal can be deadly, but there are ways to soften the process. Be smart.