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Podcast # 363: Ketamine for Alcohol Withdrawal

Emergency Medical Minute

Release Date: 08/08/2018

Educational Pearls:


  • Recent study has shown adjunctive ketamine can be useful in setting of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Ketamine was associated with a decrease in the amount of benzodiazepines needed, likelihood of intubation, and a decrease in ICU length of stay by 3 days.
  • For patients with benzodiazepine resistance, ketamine was shown to have symptom relief in an hour and decreased rate of benzodiazepine infusion.



Pizon A, Lynch M, Benedict N, et al. 2018. Adjunct Ketamine Use in the Management of Severe Ethanol Withdrawal. Critical Care Medicine. 46(8):e768-e771.

Shah, P., McDowell, M., Ebisu, R. et al. J. Med. Toxicol. (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13181-018-0662-8