The term alcohol-related seizures (ARS) is used to refer to all seizures in the aggregate associated with alcohol use, including the subset of alcohol withdrawal seizures (AWS). From 20% to 40% of patients with seizure who present to an emergency department have seizures related to alcohol abuse. However, it is critical to avoid prematurely labeling a seizure as being caused by alcohol withdrawal before performing a careful diagnostic evaluation. Benzodiazepines alone are sufficient to prevent AWS. The alcoholic patient with a documented history of ARS, who experiences a single seizure or a short burst of seizures should be treated with lorazepam, 2 mg intravenously.
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