WKS treatment should begin immediately. Prompt treatment may delay or stop disease progression. Treatments are also able to reverse nonpermanent brain abnormalities.
Treatment may first involve hospitalization. At the hospital, you’ll be monitored to ensure your digestive system is absorbing food properly.
The treatment for WKS may include:
- vitamin B-1 given through an intravenous line (IV) in the arm or hand
- vitamin B-1 given by mouth
- a balanced diet to keep vitamin B-1 levels up
- treatment for alcoholism
After diagnosis, your doctor will most likely give you vitamin B-1 intravenously. Fast treatment may reverse many of the neurological symptoms of WKS.
In a small number of cases, treatment of vitamin B-1 deficiency produces a negative reaction. This is more common in people with alcoholism.
Negative reactions to receiving vitamin B-1 may vary, and can include alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, sweating, or mood swings. You may also experience hallucinations, confusion, or agitation.