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[Treatment of delirium tremens--a comparison between clomethiazole and clorazepate with reference to effectiveness and rate of side effects]

Author(s): Caspari D, Wappler M, Bellaire W

Affiliation(s): Universitatsnervenklinik-Psychiatrie, Homburg/Saar.

Publication date & source: 1992-01, Psychiatr Prax., 19(1):23-7.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Controlled Clinical Trial

In an open clinical trial patients with full-developed delirium tremens were treated either by controlled infusion of clomethiazol (n = 21) or by intravenous injections of clorazepate (n = 20). Acute symptomatic quickly decreased after a few days and medication could be reduced. By adding haloperidol a further stabilization in patients suffering from vivid hallucinations could be obtained. The duration of intravenous therapy and the total period of treatment did not differ in the two groups. Statistical analysis of cardiovascular parameters revealed a significant lower heart rate under clorazepate therapy. So treatment with clorazepate proved to be an alternative to standard therapy with clomethiazol even for severe cases of delirium tremens regarding its wide therapeutical range and the low rate of cardio-pulmonary complications.

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