Therapeutic Applications of Ethanol: A Review - Université de Rennes Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Year : 2019

Therapeutic Applications of Ethanol: A Review


Purpose To review knowledge on therapeutic uses of ethanol and the latter's effectiveness and safety profiles in a range of indications. Method MEDLINE and PubMed databases were searched for relevant peer-reviewed papers published in English between 1888 and 2018 using the following search terms ethanol, therapeutic, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, antiseptic, antidote, methanol, ethylene glycol, neurolysis, embolization, cyst, sclerosing agent, sclerotherapy, arteriovenous malformations, ablating agent. Studies providing information about association between alcohol and therapeutic indications, or mechanic explanation for the association were included for review. Results According to the World Health Organization, approximately three millions deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol consumption each year. However, the low-to-moderate consumption of ethanol has a number of beneficial effects (mainly on cardiovascular mortality and diabetes). Hence, ethanol has an unusual spectrum of effects that seems interesting for therapeutic purposes. Ethanol's risk-benefit ratio appears to be positive in some therapeutic indications such as antidote to methanol or ethylene glycol poisoning, neurolysis, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, or antiseptic. Conclusion With the development of interventional radio technologies, and thus extremely precise access to anatomical structures, alcohol has been given new indications - particularly as an embolization. sclerosing or ablation agent. Moreover, constant progress in our knowledge of ethanol's pharmacodynamics might highlight other therapeutic indications for this compound in the future. Ethanol's low cost and wide availability make it a valuable therapeutic agent, compared with other reference treatments. Furthermore, ethanol has a long track record of safety and effectiveness in the indications mentioned above.
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hal-02363309 , version 1 (10-07-2020)



Brendan Le Dare, Thomas Gicquel. Therapeutic Applications of Ethanol: A Review. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2019, 22, pp.525-535. ⟨10.18433/jpps30572⟩. ⟨hal-02363309⟩
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