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Definition of Delirium tremens

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Delirium tremens: A central nervous system symptom of alcohol withdrawal that is seen in chronic alcoholism. Symptoms include uncontrollable trembling, hallucinations, severe anxiety, sweating, and sudden feelings of terror. Abbreviated DTs. DTs can be both frightening and, in severe cases, deadly. Treatment includes observation, comfort care, and in some cases medication.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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