Question: In alcohol dependant adults who are drinking dependently, how effective are multivitamins or nutritional or calorific supplements, compared to any other intervention, in preventing or reducing malnourishment?


No high quality, relevant research evidence was identified to answer this question. More research is needed in order to understand this area.

NICE guidelines do not comment on the use of multivitamins, nutritional or calorific supplements for malnourishment in alcohol dependant adults. However, the following recommendations are made (CG100, 2010).

With regards to Wernicke's encephalopathy:

"Offer prophylactic oral thiamine to harmful or dependant drinkers:   

-if they are malnourished or at risk of malnorishment or if they have decompendated liver disease or if they are in acute withdrawal or before and during a planned medically assisted alcohol withdrawal.

Offer prophylactic parental thiamine followed by oral thiamine to harmful or dependant drinkers:

-if they are malnourished or at risk or malnourishment or if they have decomensated liver disease".

"Assess the nutritional requirements of people with acute alcohol-related hepatitis. Offer nutritional support if needed and consider using nasogastric tube feeding."

i.  To view the full summary, click the Download Document link to the right.

ii. For related NICE and SIGN guidelines, follow the links below. (If applicable)

iii. To view the Cochrane review which is included in this summary, click Related Documents, below. (If applicable)

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