Ethanol as antidote

Competitively blocks the formation of toxic metabolites in toxic alcohol ingestions by having a higher affinity for the enzyme Alcohol Dehydrogenase (ADH). Its chief application is in methanol and ethylene glycol ingestions, although it has been used with other toxic alcohols. Ethanol is now regarded as the second choice antidote in those countries with access to the specific ADH blocker, fomepizole


  • Barceloux DG, Krenzelok EK, Olson K et al. American Academy of Clinical Toxicology Practice Guidelines on the Treatment of Ethylene Glycol Poisoning. Journal of Toxicology – Clinical Toxicology 1999; 37(5):537-560.
  • Lepik KJ, Levy AR, Sobolev BG et al.  Adverse drug events associated with the antidotes for methanol and ethylene glycol poisoning: a comparison of ethanol and fomepizole. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2009; 53:439-450.

Toxicology Handbook

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