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For how long does the withdrawal symptoms after drinking alcohol remain?

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Posted on Wed, 27 May 2015
Question: I have been a heavy drinker for 15+ years (average a pint of vodka per day). I am 45 years old, and a big guy (6'4" and 330#). I had a binge this past Saturday (May 2) where I drank much more than usual, and I drank lightly (less than a pint of vodka) on Sunday (May 3). I haven't had a drink since. It's now been about 3 1/2 days since my last drink. My withdrawal symptoms to this point have been very mild (some irritability, slightly elevated heart rate and mild anxiety during the first 2 days of not drinking). I woke up to today and am feeling great. My question is, am I over the withdrawal symptoms, or do I still need to be on the look-out for them?
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Answered by Dr. Shubham Mehta (37 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
look out for withdrawals for one more week.

Detailed Answer:
Hello
Welcome to HCM.
I can understand your concerns.

When the alcohol is stopped abruptly after a long term intake, the symptoms we are mostly concerned for are seizures, hallucinations and delirium tremens.

These are the most serious symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

At the same time, I would like to tell you that the highest risk of having these symptoms is usually within 3 days of stopping alcohol.

You have stopped alcohol since last 3 1/2 days and have not experienced any serious symptoms.
In my opinion, the most risky period has passed for you.

The usual withdrawal symptoms mostly lasts for 7-10 days.

However, in some cases, the withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, irritability, tremors, fatigue, impaired concentration can persist for 6 months-1 year.

Having said all this,
I would advise you to still be cautious for withdrawal symptoms for atleast 1 more week.

Hope this helps.

Feel free to ask further.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Shubham Mehta

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 2136 Questions

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For how long does the withdrawal symptoms after drinking alcohol remain?

Brief Answer: look out for withdrawals for one more week. Detailed Answer: Hello Welcome to HCM. I can understand your concerns. When the alcohol is stopped abruptly after a long term intake, the symptoms we are mostly concerned for are seizures, hallucinations and delirium tremens. These are the most serious symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. At the same time, I would like to tell you that the highest risk of having these symptoms is usually within 3 days of stopping alcohol. You have stopped alcohol since last 3 1/2 days and have not experienced any serious symptoms. In my opinion, the most risky period has passed for you. The usual withdrawal symptoms mostly lasts for 7-10 days. However, in some cases, the withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, irritability, tremors, fatigue, impaired concentration can persist for 6 months-1 year. Having said all this, I would advise you to still be cautious for withdrawal symptoms for atleast 1 more week. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask further. Thanks.