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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094

Abstract

BRAZ, Leandro Gobbo et al. Clonidine as adjuvant therapy for alcohol withdrawal syndrome in intensive care unit: case report. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2003, vol.53, n.6, pp. 802-807. ISSN 0034-7094.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-70942003000600011.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Sedation of patients with past history of alcohol and drug abuse in Intensive Care Units (ICU) is a challenge due to the high incidence of sedative drugs tolerance and withdrawal syndromes. This report aimed at describing a case of a young patient admitted to the ICU who developed alcohol withdrawal syndrome and tolerance to sedatives, resolved only after clonidine administration. CASE REPORT: Male patient, 18 years old, alcohol, tobacco, cocaine and marijuana abuser, victim of firearm accident, who was admitted to the ICU in the first post-enterectomy day, after gastric content aspiration during tracheal re-intubation. Clinical evolution was: vasoactive drugs up to the 4th day; bilateral bronchopneumonia with pleural effusion and need for artificial ventilation up to the 15th day. Initial sedation scheme was the association of midazolam and fentanyl. As from the 4th day, patient presented with several psychomotor agitation episodes, even after the association of lorazepam in the 6th day. In the 9th day, patient received the largest doses but remained agitated. Dexmedetomidine was associated, which has decreased other drug doses in 35% and has improved agitation. In the 12th day, midazolam and dexmedetomidine were replaced by propofol infusion with worsening of agitation. In the 13th day, clonidine was associated to the sedation scheme with total resolution of agitation. Propofol was withdrawn in the 14th day, fentanyl was maintained and midazolam infusion was restarted, with doses 75% and 65% lower as compared to peak doses of such drugs. Patient was extubated in the 15th day and was discharged from ICU. CONCLUSIONS: Benzodiazepines should remain the drugs of choice for the treatment of acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. However in this report, only adjuvant clonidine was able to adequately treat the patient.

Keywords : DISEASES [alcohol withdrawal syndrome]; DRUGS [a2-agonist]; DRUGS [clonidine].

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