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Hello,

my dad is alcoholic for more than 30 years now, but after he ended up in hospital for ruptured spleen and had two surgeries, he went into alcohol withdrawal that was so bad he had to be in induced coma at the time. After he got out of the hospital, he promised (for who knows which time) that he’ll stop drinking and besides AA meetings he was also given Seroquel.

It soon became obvious he didn’t stop drinking completely because last weekend we found him in a state of complete delirium and he was rushed to the ER first where the doctor said Seroquel will be enough, but from what I’ve read online it seems that Haldol is the medication that is usually given to people in delirium?

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Hi,

when it comes to so far gone stages of alcoholic dependence that any withdrawal causes delirium, it's really hard to say that there is one specific medication - be it Seroquel, Haldol or something third - that alone can help your dad to get through alcoholic delirium.

However, you are right when you say that Haldol is far more frequently used in acute stages of delirium, together with sedatives such as diazepam. But these stages of alcohol dependence really are something that need to be monitored in hospital, especially since your dad already has health issues.

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Hello,

it sounds to me like in your dad's case ER doctor might have made a mistake. If your dad was in the state of acute alcoholic delirium, he should have been hospitalized (in my case they have detox on psychiatric ward and it's mostly people detoxing from late stage alcoholic delirium there). At least that's the case in my country. It's not done only because alcohol delirium on it's own can cause psychosis-like symptoms, with hallucinations and everything, but especially in cases like your dad's when his health is already compromised. It's done so he could be closely monitored for any health deterioration and yes, Haldol is usually given as the anti-psychotic medication, mainly because it also has very strong sedative properties.

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