Delirium tremens (DTs) is a complication of alcoholism that occurs when an alcoholic is deprived of alcohol. Symptoms may start within 24 to 72 hours and include mental confusion, tremor, hallucinations, excessive sensitivity to all sensations, body chemistry disturbances, sweating, occasionally seizures and rarely death. Body chemistry disorders may be detected by blood tests.
Medications to reverse adverse effects of alcohol withdrawal are given, along with intravenous fluids and observation in hospital.
The DTs can be successfully managed in hospital with the assistance of medications (e.g. chlormethiazole), but may be dangerous in other situations.