Alcohol Withdrawal Syndromes in the Human: Comparison with Animal Models

  • H. Kalant
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 85B)


Alcohol withdrawal syndromes in humans lie on a continuum of increasing severity, from the acute hangover to delirium tremens. Early mild reactions consist primarily of hyperexcitability phenomena such as tremor, insomnia, hyperreflexia and hyperventilation. In more severe degree, the same process gives rise to hallucinations and seizures. These early reactions are mimicked closely by alcohol withdrawal signs in experimental animals. Late reactions in humans are characterized by marked sympathetic nervous system overactivity, profound disorientation and hallucinations. Analogous reactions have not yet been observed clearly in other species. The problem may be one of finding appropriate techniques for detecting such changes, rather than a true species difference in their occurrence.


Physical Dependence Morphine Withdrawal Respiratory Alkalosis Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Early Reaction 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Kalant
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Addiction Research Foundation of OntarioTorontoCanada

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