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Home > Magnesium for alcohol withdrawal.

Sarai, Michael and Tejani, Aaron M. and Chan, Alice Hill Wah and Kuo, I Fan and Li, Juliana [The Cochrane Library] . (2013) Magnesium for alcohol withdrawal. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (6) Art. No.: CD008358. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008358.pub2


Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) is a set of symptoms experienced when one reduces or stops alcohol consumption after prolonged periods of alcohol intake. Some studies show that AWS coincides with low levels of magnesium in the blood. Since magnesium may play a role in dampening the excitability of the central nervous system, some researchers believe that low levels of magnesium may make the central nervous system 'hyper-excitable' and may cause AWS symptoms, which include sleeplessness, tremors, anxiety, headache, excessive sweating and reduced appetite. Many AWS treatment protocols therefore recommend magnesium supplementation.

The goal of our review was to determine whether magnesium supplementation prevents or treats AWS in adults. Our review of four trials covering 317 participants determined that there is not enough evidence about the benefits or harms of using magnesium supplements to prevent or treat AWS in adults.

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