Antianxiety Medicines for Alcohol Withdrawal

Topic Overview

Antianxiety medicines can help control some withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Examples of these medicines include:

  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium).
  • Diazepam (Valium).
  • Lorazepam (Ativan).
  • Oxazepam (Serax).

These medicines work by depressing the central nervous system. Antianxiety medicines are usually safe to treat alcohol withdrawal. But they are not given over a long period of time, because they can become addictive.

Side effects can include drowsiness, dry mouth, and urinary retention. If you are an older adult or have liver disease, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.

For more information about antianxiety medicines, see Drug Reference. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health

Current as ofOctober 9, 2017

 

PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.