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Case Report, Dec/21: Ketamine -- A Potential Adjunct for Severe Benzo Withdrawal


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The full title of this American case report is "Ketamine: A Potential Adjunct for Severe Benzodiazepine Withdrawal".






Following the abrupt cessation of benzodiazepine therapy, patients can present with acute life-threatening withdrawal. Medical management of benzodiazepine withdrawal is typically undertaken with benzodiazepines either through loading dose with gradual taper or symptom triggered treatment, though adjuvant anxiolytics and anticonvulsants are often used. Ketamine, increasingly utilized as an adjunct in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal, may represent an effective medication in the treatment of benzodiazepine withdrawal. In this case report, a 27-year-old male with a history of benzodiazepine and opioid abuse presented to our emergency department with a chief complaint of drug withdrawal. Despite standard treatment with large amounts of benzodiazepine, barbiturate, opioid, and adjunctive medications, the patient remained with severe withdrawal syndrome until an infusion of ketamine (0.5mg/kg in 30 minutes) was administered resulting in significant improvement of the patient symptoms. This case demonstrates the potential role of ketamine as an adjunct medication in the treatment of benzodiazepine withdrawal.


Full Report:



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