Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Alcohol Overdose Overview

Another name for Alcohol Overdose is Alcohol Poisoning.

What is alcohol poisoning?
A person with alcohol poisoning, or an alcohol overdose, has a toxic level of ethanol in the bloodstream. Alcohol has a direct effect on the central nervous system. At high doses, alcohol can suppress signals from the brain that stimulate breathing. Complications of acute alcohol poisoning include aspiration pneumonia, hypothermia, cardiac arrhythmias, dehydration, seizures, coma, respiratory failure, and cardiac arrest. Alcohol abuse can lead to alcoholism and alcoholic liver disease.

What are the symptoms of alcohol poisoning?
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include pale skin, rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea, faintness, vomiting, palpitations, slurred speech, poor balance, vertigo, confusion, and excessive sleepiness. Serious symptoms of alcohol poisoning include slow, shallow or irregular breathing, lethargy, seizures, hypothermia, and coma.

How does the doctor treat alcohol poisoning?
Treatment for mild alcohol poisoning includes plenty of fluids and rest. Severe alcohol poisoning requires intravenous fluids and medications to control nausea.

Continue to Alcohol Overdose Symptoms

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Alcohol Overdose References
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