American Journal of Clinical Medicine Research
ISSN (Print): 2328-4005 ISSN (Online): 2328-403X Website: Editor-in-chief: Dario Galante
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American Journal of Clinical Medicine Research. 2021, 9(1), 33-35
DOI: 10.12691/ajcmr-9-1-8
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Battle of the Benzodiazepines: Comparison of Treatment Outcomes for Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome: Lorazepam vs Chlordiazepoxide - A Literature Review

R.M. Mendenhall1 and R.J. Suppan1,

1M.D. Candidate, St. George’s University School of Medicine, St. George’s, Grenada

Pub. Date: April 26, 2021

Cite this paper:
R.M. Mendenhall and R.J. Suppan. Battle of the Benzodiazepines: Comparison of Treatment Outcomes for Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome: Lorazepam vs Chlordiazepoxide - A Literature Review. American Journal of Clinical Medicine Research. 2021; 9(1):33-35. doi: 10.12691/ajcmr-9-1-8


Alcohol use disorder is a frequent occurrence within the United States, accounting for approximately 18% of the general population. Statistically, 50% of these people experience Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS); a clinical diagnosis characterized by autonomic hyperactivity, following abrupt abstinence from heavy alcohol consumption. AWS is a life-threatening disorder that for many years has been treated with tapering doses of benzodiazepines— mostly chlordiazepoxide (CDE) and lorazepam (LOR). This paper seeks to answer the question “Are there better clinical outcomes when treating acute Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome symptoms with chlordiazepoxide or lorazepam?”. A literature review was conducted to compile and analyze data from Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs), and peer reviewed journal articles. These sources were carefully critiqued and compared for an overview to support the use of one benzodiazepine therapy over the other in AWS treatment. The revised Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol (CIWA-Ar) scale of alcohol withdrawal is the primary measure used to quantify and monitor improvement of AWS and treatment used. CIWA-Ar scalings, dosing regimens (length, doses, number of doses), days to resolution of symptoms, and adverse effects were compared across multiple studies to reach a conclusion. This paper concludes that the use of lorazepam can be more advantageous than traditionally accepted treatments due to its safety profile among patients with liver disease, promising abilities to decrease the time to complete resolution of symptoms, and a potentially easier transfer to sobriety.

alcohol withdrawal syndrome benzodiazepines Mendenhall Suppan

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