piracetam in acute alcohol withdrawal

Piracetam and chlormethiazole in acute alcohol withdrawal: a controlled clinical trial.

Dencker SJ, Wilhelmson G, Carlsson E, Bereen FJ.

J Int Med Res 1978;6(5):395-400


Sixty in-patient alcoholics, presenting with an alcohol withdrawal syndrome after at least one week’s drinking bout, were randomly allocated to fixed dose regimens of either piracetam or chlormethiazole in a one-week double-blind trial. The patients were studied in respect to physical and biochemical parameters as well as symptom reduction and side-effects. The battery of rating scales demonstrated a good symptom reduction in both drug groups. On the whole a small tendency to more symptom items being reduced on piracetam in comparison with chlormethiazole was found. But the tree items, sleep disturbances, decreased libido at the initial phase, and the staff’s assessment showed statistically significant differences in favour of chlormethiazole. This study demonstrated that piracetam was just as efficient as chlormethiazole in patients not requiring sedation.