Dexamethasone in the treatment of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome

Bryon Adinoff, Birgit Pols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Pre-clinical studies and clinical case reports suggest that glucocorticoids may be efficacious in ameliorating the signs and symptoms of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. In order to evaluate the efficacy of the glucocorticoid dexamethasone upon alcohol withdrawal, we administered 4 mg of dexamethasone intravenously to eight alcohol dependent men during withdrawal. Withdrawal severity, as determined by the amount of lorazepam required to ameliorate withdrawal symptoms, was compared to eight other withdrawing patients not administered dexamethasone. There was no significant difference between the two groups in the amount of lorazepam required to treat to withdrawal symptoms. This preliminary study suggests that dexamethasone, in doses expected to suppress hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, is not efficacious in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-622
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Alcoholism
  • Dexamethasone
  • Glucocorticoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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