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Alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • anxiety or jumpiness
  • feeling low or depressed
  • shakiness or trembling
  • irritability
  • sweating
  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • headaches
  • difficulty sleeping

Not everyone who stops drinking will get physical withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms are more common if you have been a heavy drinker.

You may not notice any withdrawal symptoms immediately. They may only happen on the 2nd or 3rd alcohol-free day. Symptoms usually last around 5 to 7 days.

If you have any withdrawal symptoms when you stop using alcohol or drugs, talk to your GP.

Severe cases of alcohol withdrawal

In severe cases, withdrawal from alcohol can also cause:

  • hallucinations
  • confusion
  • seizures
  • fever
  • agitation

You can still be dependent on alcohol, even if you don't get physical withdrawal symptoms.

If you are worried about your alcohol use, take our alcohol test to find out what type of drinker you are.

Related topics

Signs and patterns of alcohol dependence

page last reviewed: 08/11/2019
next review due: 08/11/2022