Astudy by The Recovery Village foundheavy drinkers were 45% more likely than light or moderate drinkers to experience seizures during withdrawal and 73% more likely to have had a seizure in general. How a person’s alcohol detox alcohol withdrawal seizure will progress is often hard to predict. But then, on day 3 or 4, sudden severe withdrawal symptoms might emerge. When alcohol is stopped suddenly or is reduced by large amounts over a short period of time, a seizure may occur.

Unlike in the outpatient setting, ED patients generally present with more severe manifestations of withdrawal and are likely more medically complex. However, they may be more easily monitored, and medications and supportive treatments can be administered intravenously. Unlike in the inpatient setting, ED patients have undifferentiated presentations, are often being managed in high-volume settings , and typically do not remain in the ED for more than 24 h.

Will I have a seizure if I stop drinking?

In another study,27 the anticonvulsant agent vigabatrin, which irreversibly blocks GABA transaminase, improved withdrawal symptoms after only three days of treatment. In a symptom-triggered regimen, medication is given only when the CIWA-Ar score is higher than 8 points. An important concept in both alcohol craving and alcohol withdrawal is the “kindling” phenomenon; the term refers to long-term changes that occur in neurons after repeated detoxifications. Recurrent detoxifications are postulated to increase obsessive thoughts or alcohol craving.5 Kindling explains the observation that subsequent episodes of alcohol withdrawal tend to progressively worsen.

A predictable linear relationship allows weight-based doses to reproducibly achieve therapeutic drug levels. CIWA is a complex score which can be used to monitor and titrate therapy for alcohol withdrawal. CIWA scoring has several drawbacks, and generally isn’t very useful .


Other conditions that may present similarly include benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome . Dr. Richard Crabbe joined our team in 2019 as our psychiatrist and medical director. He attended the University of Ghana Medical School where he became a Medical Doctor in 1977. From 1978 through 1984, he was a medical officer in the Ghana Navy and provided a variety of services from general medicine to surgeries. He received his Certificate in General Psychology from the American Board of Psychology and Neurology in 2002.

  • Research indicates that those who drink alcohol as a way to cope with stressors and problems in their lives are more likely to abuse alcohol.
  • Most studies show that alcohol-related seizures often occur when a chronic drinker abruptly stops consuming alcohol.
  • We are committed to not only helping you detox safely but also to helping you maintain long-term sobriety.Contact us todayto learn how we can help you start on your journey to lasting freedom from addiction.
  • Patients with hepatic encephalopathy have excess GABA stimulation, so they are very sensitive to GABAergic medications (e.g., benzodiazepines or barbiturates).

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