Pediatric Ethanol Toxicity Medication

Updated: Mar 09, 2021
  • Author: Elizabeth Fernandez, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen L Thornton, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

Vitamin and electrolyte replacement is recommended only for specific deficits detected by means of laboratory testing. Thiamine replacement is an exception because it is the only vitamin for which routine administration is recommended and it has been proved useful in patients with chronic alcohol abuse. Thiamine is given to prevent Wernicke syndrome.



Class Summary

Vitamins are organic substances required in small amounts for various metabolic processes. In the body, vitamins may be synthesized in small or insufficient amounts or not at all; thus, supplementation may be required. Vitamins are used in patients with suspected chronic ethanol abuse to prevent serious neurologic complications. If feasible, thiamine should be administered prior to glucose load to reduce risk of Wernicke encephalopathy.

Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

An essential coenzyme of carbohydrate metabolism. Given to all patients with suspected chronic alcohol abuse. Only drug used in patients with ethanol intoxication without a documented deficit. Used in treatment and prevention of Wernicke syndrome.