Evaluating the Use of Phenobarbital for the Management of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome in Psychiatric Inpatients.
J Pharm Pract. 2019 Jan 10;:897190018822561
Authors: Waldee E, Phan SV
OBJECTIVES:: To describe the potential role of phenobarbital as appropriate therapy in the treatment and prevention of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) among medically cleared psychiatric inpatients.
METHODS:: This was a single-center, retrospective, observational study of adult patients admitted to the psychiatric unit and administered phenobarbital for the treatment or prevention of AWS. Changes in vital signs and signs and symptoms of AWS were observed to assess the safety and efficacy of phenobarbital. The primary outcome was safety of phenobarbital for AWS as measured by change in the respiratory rate (RR).
RESULTS:: A total of 122 patients were included in the study. There were no significant changes in RR among patients who received phenobarbital for AWS. Significant reductions in blood pressure and heart rate were observed. Of patients with documented signs and symptoms of AWS upon admission, 94% had improvement in the signs and symptoms during phenobarbital therapy. Approximately 12% of patients had documented sedation or altered mental status during phenobarbital therapy. No patients required transfer to a medical or critical care unit.
CONCLUSIONS:: Phenobarbital was safe, not leading to severe adverse effects or requiring a higher level of care, and efficacious for the prevention and treatment of AWS in this cohort of psychiatric inpatients.
PMID: 30630378 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]