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Alcohol Medication Used in Detox

While the majority of people who become addicted to alcohol will not require any medication when they decide to quit drinking, a few will experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms that require medical intervention for the continued safety of the patient. Once a doctor or treatment professional decides that medication should be used during alcohol detox, the next step is to decide which type of alcohol medication is going to be most effective. Fortunately, there are a number of medications which are regularly used in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal.

alcohol withdrawal relief

Benzodiazepines, antidepressants and other medications can help during alcohol detox.


When alcohol withdrawal is recognized early on, users are often prescribed a benzodiazepine to help reduce anxiety and agitation during this difficult time. According to SAMHSA, 50mg of chlordiazepoxide or a similar benzodiazepine such as diazepam given every 6 hours during the onset of alcohol withdrawal can help to dramatically reduce serious side effects during alcohol detox.


Patients who are in treatment for alcohol addiction are often given acamprosate during the early phases of alcohol withdrawal. This medication can lessen withdrawal symptoms and reduce the cravings that user’s have allowing them to focus more heavily on their recovery, according to the US National Institute of Health. Many treatment centers, detox centers and outpatient programs prescribe patients acamprosate for the treatment of cravings associated with alcoholism to help them to remain sober and in control.

Oral Baclofen

Oral Baclofen is another medication that has been found to reduce cravings and other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal during the early to mid stages of recovery. This drug is hypothesized to help during alcohol detox to reduce the risk of relapse in users who are just starting treatment for the addiction. While studies for Oral Baclofen continue to take place, this could be the next big medication to be used in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome for those in detox.


According to NY State, Carbamazepine is a useful medication that can be prescribed to patients who are undergoing alcohol detox in an outpatient setting. Unfortunately, this medication can cause adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting and stomach cramping so it’s use is limited and still in a trial therapeutic stage in which it is not regularly used.

Additional Medications in Alcohol Detox

In addition to the above listed medications which can be used in alcohol detox to help prevent complications, the following medications may also be used to fend off certain individual ailments or conditions such as seizures, anxiety, heart attack or stroke:

  • antipsychotics
  • antidepressants
  • beta blockers
  • anticonvulsants

Alcohol medication can help you through the detox process.

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