Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Seizure Medicines for Alcohol Withdrawal
Seizure medicines are normally used to treat
seizures, but they are also used successfully to treat
mild to moderate
withdrawal symptoms during
detoxification from alcohol
dependence. Currently, there is good evidence that
carbamazepine (for example, Tegretol), valproate (for example, Depakote), and
phenytoin (for example, Dilantin) are effective in reducing the severity of
withdrawal symptoms and emotional distress related to withdrawal.footnote 1 Seizure medicines can be used safely over a long period of
Side effects of seizure medicines can include:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a
warning on seizure medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The
FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people
who take seizure medicine should be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take seizure
medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
Kosten TR, O'Connor PG (2003). Management of drug and alcohol withdrawal. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(18): 1786–1795.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerPeter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
Current as ofFebruary 24, 2016
Current as of:
February 24, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital