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<< Sedative-Hypnotic Drug Withdrawal Syndrome: Recognition and Treatment (Critical Care Topic and Pharmacology CME)

Controversies And Cutting Edge

 Anticonvulsants 

The use of anticonvulsants in the management of acute withdrawal from benzodiazepines or barbiturates is a topic that requires further investigation. The evidence supporting the use of anticonvulsants for withdrawal was generally from cases of mild withdrawal symptoms that did not require hospitalization. Studies have shown that carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, gabapentin, and pregabalin may be of some benefit in reducing mild sedativehypnotic withdrawal symptoms in the outpatient setting.58-71 The use of GABA analogue anticonvulsants (such as gabapentin and pregabalin) have been studied in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal and can be considered as an alternative to benzodiazepines; however, the efficacy of these agents has not been well established.61,62

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