Is There an Antidote for Alcohol Toxicity?
Drinking large amounts of alcohol quickly can cause respiratory depression, coma, and even death. In this case, is there an antidote for alcohol toxicity, or acute alcohol poisoning?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant; it slows everything down like your speech, movement, and reaction time. Drinking large amounts of alcohol too quickly can cause respiratory depression, coma, and death.
Alcohol toxicity happens when a person consumes more alcohol than their body can safely process. Alcohol is absorbed in the stomach and small intestine and then enters the bloodstream rapidly. When large amounts of alcohol are consumed, the greater amount enters the bloodstream. Your liver metabolizes the alcohol, but it can only break down so much at one time. When more alcohol is consumed than what the liver can break down, the alcohol is redirected throughout the body.
Reversing Acute Alcohol Poisoning
Each person metabolizes alcohol at different rates. A standard drink is 12 oz. beer, 8-9 oz of malt liquor, 5 oz of table wine, or a 1.5 oz shot of distilled spirits (gin, rum, tequila, vodka, or whiskey). Drinking more than this causes your liver to not be able to break it down fast enough, and the alcohol accumulates in the body.
More on Antidotes for Alcohol Toxicity
Alcohol toxicity is dangerous. Consuming large amounts of it even one time can cause serious health problems. An alcohol overdose, poisoning, toxicity, whatever you want to call it, can absolutely be life-threatening, but it can be treated in a couple of ways. It’s not an instant death sentence and is reversable if quick action is taken and medical personnel are contacted.
The National Library of Medicine says:
Acute alcohol intoxication is a clinically harmful condition that usually follows the ingestion of a large amount of alcohol. Clinical manifestations are heterogeneous and involve different organs and apparatuses, with behavioral, cardiac, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, neurological, and metabolic effects. The management of an intoxicated patient occurs mainly in the emergency department and is aimed at stabilizing the clinical condition of the patient, depending on his/her clinical presentation. One specific drug that is useful in the treatment of acute alcohol intoxication is metadoxine, which is able to accelerate ethanol excretion. In patients presenting an acute alcohol intoxication, alcohol-related disorders should be detected so that the patient can be directed to an alcohol treatment unit, where a personalized, specific treatment can be established. (NLM)
In most cases of alcohol toxicity or acute alcohol poisoning, the person is taken to the emergency room. Breathing and choking problems are a major concern, so the patient is usually kept sitting up. They are monitored carefully, given oxygen, fluids through an IV for dehydration, and sometimes vitamins and glucose to prevent serious complications. Medication may be given to help prevent seizure activity, and in some cases, the person’s stomach may even be pumped.
Medication Used in Treating Alcohol Poisoning
Also, methadoxine is a medication that can be given for alcohol toxicity. It accelerates the elimination of ethanol from the blood which leads to a faster recovery. Methadoxine is the antidote for alcohol toxicity.
If alcohol poisoning is suspected, prompt treatment must be obtained to prevent life-threatening health problems. If the overdose is severe enough that the person has seizures, and oxygen to the brain is cut off, brain damage may occur; this brain damage can be irreversible.
Treatment Programs for Chronic Alcoholism
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