Beriberi medical therapy

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Abdelrahman Ibrahim Abushouk, MD[2]


Beriberi is an easily treatable condition, using thiamine hydrochloride via oral or parentral routes. A rapid and dramatic recovery within hours can be made when this is administered to patients with beriberi.

Medical Therapy

  • Treatment is with thiamine hydrochloride, either in tablet form or injection.
  • A rapid and dramatic recovery within hours can be made when this is administered to patients with beriberi.
  • The dose in chronic beriberi is 50 mg/day intravenously or intramuscularly for several days, followed by a maintainence dose of 2.5 to 5 mg/day orally.[1]
  • In advanced dry or wet beriberi, the recommended dose is 200mg intravenous or orally thiamine three times/day till resolution of symptoms and then the maintainence dose should be 10 mg/day until expected recovery.
  • In Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, the recommended dose is: Three doses of intravenous 500 mg daily during the first two days of treatment, then shift to 250 mg/day for additional three days.
  • In Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, make sure to administer thiamine during the re-feeding period in alcoholic patients to avoid thiamine deficiency with lactic acidosis.[2]


  1. Lei Y, Zheng MH, Huang W, Zhang J, Lu Y (2018). "Wet beriberi with multiple organ failure remarkably reversed by thiamine administration: A case report and literature review". Medicine (Baltimore). 97 (9): e0010. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000010010. PMC 5851725. PMID 29489643.
  2. "StatPearls". 2019. PMID 30725889.

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