Table 5

 Distinguishing features of delirium tremens, the most severe end of the alcohol withdrawal spectrum

• Pronounced withdrawal symptoms: coarse tremor, agitation, tachycardia, and extreme autonomic over activity, complicated by disorientation, hallucinations or delusions
• Occurs in less than 5% of individuals withdrawing from alcohol
• May develop from milder episodes of withdrawal, usually 48–72 hours after stopping drinking
• Hyperpyrexia, ketoacidosis, and circulatory collapse may develop