Ethanol

Ethanol is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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General Principles

  • Elimination rate: 20–25 mg/dL/h (zero-order kinetics, faster in chronic alcoholics).
  • Ethanol is present in all alcoholic beverages, some food extracts, mouthwash, and cold syrups, but it is also industrially used as a solvent in its denatured form.

Pathophysiology

Ethanol is oxidized to acetic acid (acetate), which is further metabolized to nontoxic intermediates.

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General Principles

  • Elimination rate: 20–25 mg/dL/h (zero-order kinetics, faster in chronic alcoholics).
  • Ethanol is present in all alcoholic beverages, some food extracts, mouthwash, and cold syrups, but it is also industrially used as a solvent in its denatured form.

Pathophysiology

Ethanol is oxidized to acetic acid (acetate), which is further metabolized to nontoxic intermediates.

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