Alcohol poisoning

Common Name(s)

Alcohol poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a serious, sometimes fatal result of drinking too much alcohol in a short period of time. Alcohol poisoning is caused by a specific form of alcohol, called ethyl alcohol, which is found in alcoholic beverages, mouthwash, cooking extracts as well as some medications and household products. Alcohol poisoning can slow down important body functions, such as heart rate and breathing. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, confusion, slow or irregular breathing (less than eight breaths per minute or more than 10 seconds between breaths), pale skin, low temperature (hypothermia), and loss of consciousness.

The most common cause of alcohol poisoning is binge drinking, which is consuming four to five alcoholic drinks quickly within the course of two hours. The body absorbs alcohol quickly and processes (metabolizes) it in the liver. It takes about one hour for your body to process one standard drink. If a person binge drinks, they consume more alcohol in a short amount of time than their body can safely process. If a person stops drinking after a binge, or even passes out, alcohol can continue to be released into the blood, raising it to a dangerous level. Factors that can increase the risk of alcohol poisoning include body size, overall health, combining alcohol with drugs, length of time since last meal, and alcohol tolerance level. A doctor may suspect alcohol poisoning based on a recent history of drinking alcohol combined with symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Blood and urine tests may be used to confirm this diagnosis. The goal of treatment for alcohol poisoning is to help the person recover and usually includes close monitoring, giving oxygen and providing sugar, vitamins, and fluids through the vein (IV). If alcohol poisoning is suspected, especially if a person is unconscious or not responding, immediate medical treatment should be provided.

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Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Alcohol poisoning" for support, advocacy or research.

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Alcohol poisoning" returned 23 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Severity of Baclofen Self-Poisoning Linked to Psychiatric Co-morbidity in Alcohol-Dependent Patients: Better Measurement of Risk and Benefit.
 

Author(s): Fanny Pelissier, Luc de Haro, Benjamin Rolland, Nicolas Franchitto

Journal: Basic Clin. Pharmacol. Toxicol.. 2017 10;121(4):217-219.

 

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Baclofen and Alcohol-Dependent Patients: A Real Risk of Severe Self-Poisoning.
 

Author(s): David Boels, Caroline Victorri-Vigneau, Marie Grall-Bronnec, Ali Touré, Anais Garnier, Alain Turcant, Gaël Le Roux

Journal: Basic Clin. Pharmacol. Toxicol.. 2017 Oct;121(4):353-359.

 

Baclofen is often prescribed in high doses to fight cravings experienced by alcohol-dependent patients. Such an increase in the availability of baclofen is concerning. This study aimed to determine the change in number and profile of self-poisoning with baclofen over time, as baclofen ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Concurrent alcohol and medication poisoning hospital admissions among older rural and urban residents.
 

Author(s): Faika Zanjani, Rachel Smith, Svetla Slavova, Richard Charnigo, Nancy Schoenberg, Catherine Martin, Richard Clayton

Journal: Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2016 07;42(4):422-30.

 

Alcohol and medication interactions are projected to increase due to the growth of older adults that are unsafely consuming alcohol and medications. Plus, aging adults who reside in rural areas are at the highest risk of experiencing medication interactions.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Alcohol poisoning" returned 0 free, full-text review articles on human participants.

 
 
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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Phenobarbital for Severe Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium; Alcohol Withdrawal; Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures

 

Last Updated: 9 Jul 2018

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Alcohol: Thiamine and or Magnesium 1
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Alcohol Withdrawal; Lactic Acidosis; Vitamin B1 Deficiency; Magnesium Deficiency; Wernicke Encephalopathy

 

Last Updated: 15 Mar 2018

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