Antianxiety Medicines for Alcohol Withdrawal

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Topic Overview

Antianxiety medicines can help control some withdrawal symptoms during detoxification . Examples of these medicines include:

  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium).
  • Diazepam (Valium).
  • Lorazepam (Ativan).
  • Oxazepam (Serax).

These medicines work by depressing the central nervous system. Antianxiety medicines are usually safe to treat alcohol withdrawal. But they are not given over a long period of time, because they can become addictive.

Side effects can include drowsiness, dry mouth, and urinary retention. If you are an older adult or have liver disease, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.

For more information about antianxiety medicines, see Drug Reference. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

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Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction

Current as ofMarch 12, 2014