Health Library

Antianxiety Medicines for Alcohol Withdrawal

Topic Overview

Antianxiety medicines can help control some withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Examples of these medicines include:

  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium).
  • Diazepam (Valium).
  • Lorazepam (Ativan).
  • Oxazepam (Serax).

These medicines work by depressing the central nervous system. Antianxiety medicines are usually safe to treat alcohol withdrawal. But they are not given over a long period of time, because they can become addictive.

Side effects can include drowsiness, dry mouth, and urinary retention. If you are an older adult or have liver disease, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.

For more information about antianxiety medicines, see Drug Reference. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
Last Revised January 18, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker