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Alcoholic, suddenly stopped drinking. How long does it take to flush out of the system?

If a alcoholic suddenly stops drinking completely, how long does it take to get out of the system, i.e. after what period of time would they no longer be at risk of a seizure? Thank you.
Asked On : Sat, 19 Jan 2013
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Though the alcohol which was been consumed will be excreted completely usually within 24 - 48 hours, the withdrawal effects can last for a week to 10 days. Withdrawal symptoms include tremors, increased sweating, insomnia, increased heart rate, increased BP, anxiety, etc. In perons with severe alcohol dependence, there can even be seizures, psychotic symptoms and even life-threatening delirium tremens.

A person withdrawing from alcohol is at most risk for seizures between 24 to 48 hours of stopping alcohol abruptly. The risk of delirium is most between 48 to 72 hours. So, in other words, the high risk period is the first 2 to 4 days after cessation of drinking.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Tue, 22 Jan 2013
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