Delirium tremens: causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Delirium is a sudden neural attack, delirium can be prevented. Sudden, mental and neurological symptoms occurrence due to alcohol withdrawal is called as Delirium tremens. Restlessness and agitation are associated with Delirium tremens. Sudden cessation of alcoholism or even excess consumption of alcohol leads to DELIRIUM TREMENS.

Delirium tremens is a withdrawal symptom seen in the individual addicted to Alcohol. Delirium tremens is considered as one of the psychological disorder.

Causes of Delirium tremens

  • The main cause of delirium is excess alcohol drinking, especially when an individual doesn’t take enough food.
  • Head injury, infection, or any illness associated with alcoholism acts as triggering factor of Delirium tremens.
  • Chronic heavy alcoholism, previous history of heavy alcoholism.

Symptoms of delirium tremens

1. Nervousness
2. Feeling shaky
3. Irritability or easily excited
4. Anxiety,
5. Emotional volatility,
6. Emotional instability,
7. Sudden mood change,
8. unable to mingle in group,
9. Depression,
10. Fatigue ,
11. Difficulty in thinking
12. palpitation (sensation of feeling own heart beat) ,
13. Headache, general, pulsating ,
14. Excess Sweating,
15. Especially the palms of the hands or the face ,
16. Nausea, (sensation of vomiting)
17. Loss of appetite,
18. vomiting,
19. Seizures,
20. Tremors,
21. Mental changes, etc


Physical examination and history collection . Tremors, excess sweating, and other symptoms help  in diagnosis.

Treatment of Delirium tremens

Preventing the complications, restoring health, and relieving symptoms are the treatment goals.

Treatment based on the causes and severity of symptoms.

The pharmacological treatment

  • aticonvulsants such as phenytoin
  • clonidine to reduce cardiovascular symptoms and reduce anxiety
  • central nervous system depressants
  • sedatives such as alprazolam

Psychological care is needed, along with psychological therapies such as group therapy, playing .

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