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COVID-19 and Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Broadcast Date: April 14, 2020


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What does Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome have to do with COVID-19? Many states have considered liquor stores non-essential and as a result, people may not be able to drink as they normally would. Alcohol withdrawal can be a serious and life-threatening condition where benzodiazepines and barbiturates are standard of care. Recent evidence has emerged with ketamine as a potential option for patients with severe withdrawal. This podcast will discuss its potential place in practice, along with practical considerations, such as dosing and monitoring. David Zimmerman will be serving as the interviewer.


Ryan MarinoDr. Ryan Marino is an emergency physician and medical toxicologist as well as an assistant professor of emergency medicine at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. He is a fan of both evidence based medicine and therapeutic use of ketamine. Two of his main research interests include finding better treatments for alcohol intoxication and substance use disorders. In addition to advocating for better treatment modalities and patient care he tries to disseminate better information and education. He can usually be found on Twitter (@RyanMarino) when he is not working.

David ZimmermanDavid Zimmerman, Pharm.D.,BCPS, BCCCP is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy/EM Clinical Pharmacist in Duquesne University/UPMC-Mercy Hospital located in Pittsburgh, PA. He is also the Vice is also the Chair of the Emergency Care Advisory Group of the Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists of ASHP.

Vicki BasalygaVicki Basalyga, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCPPS, is the Director for the Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists. In this role Vicki serves as an information resource and provides guidance to ASHP members regarding science and scientific developments affecting pharmacy practice in health systems. She serves as secretary to the Section executive committee and coordinates activities to accomplish the objectives established by the Section. Additionally, Vicki has assumed the position of Council Secretary for the ASHP's Council on Therapeutics.

Vicki received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Duquesne University and completed an ASHP accredited PGY1 at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Vicki is also a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and a Board Certified Pediatric Pharmacotherapy Specialist.

Prior to her current position at ASHP, Vicki practiced as critical care pharmacist in both the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Other activities Vicki performed included drafting policies and procedures, co-chairing the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, creating and drafting order sets for CPOE conversion and precepting residents and students.

The information presented during the podcast reflects solely the opinions of the presenter. The information and materials are not, and are not intended as, a comprehensive source of drug information on this topic. The contents of the podcast have not been reviewed by ASHP, and should neither be interpreted as the official policies of ASHP, nor an endorsement of any product(s), nor should they be considered as a substitute for the professional judgment of the pharmacist or physician.