|Drug Name:||Antabuse (Disulfiram)|
|Tablet Strength:||500 mg, 250 mg|
|Where to Buy||Check Prices|
General Information about Antabuse
Antabuse is a drug inhibiting the enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase metabolizing alcohol intake. The mechanism of action is in very unpleasant side effects when the drug is used with alcohol. Antabuse is designed to treat chronic alcoholism, helping to keep a patient from alcohol due to the unpleasant reactions observed when alcohol is consumed during application of Antabuse.
Antabuse is supported with psychotherapy and behavior modification. This drug is not considered to be a remedy from alcoholism, it just works so that to help patients stop drinking.
Antabuse is administered only in a person who knows about using the drug.
Antabuse is contraindicated in case of allergy to disulfiram. Special care should be taken in heart disease, liver or kidney disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, underactive thyroid, epilepsy, head injury, a history of heart attacks, mental illness,and psychosis.
The patients should be aware that many products contain alcohol, which small amount is enough to cause a reaction. Read carefully the label to see if any alcohol is contained. Avoid contact with products that may contain alcohol such as stains, paint thinners, lacquers, solvents, and others.
Antabuse is assigned with pregnancy category C by the FDA. It means there is no adequate data whether Antabuse would be harmful for an unborn baby. See the doctor if you become pregnant during your therapy with this drug. It is not known if Antabuse penetrates into breast milk or whether it may affect a nursing baby. While using this drug, you should not breast-feed.
The drug should be stored between 15 and 30°C, protected away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep Antabuse out of the reach of children.
Indications for Antabuse Use
Avoid any alcohol while taking Antabuse and for two weeks after treatment.
Please, read carefully a patient information sheet. Antabuse should be taken according to the doctor’s prescription. It may differ from the information contained in the patient information sheet, which, however, should be read carefully. Regular blood tests are recommended during treatment to check your liver function. It helps to adjust a drug dose.
Please be aware that you are responsible to inform any medical care provider treating you that you are taking disulfiram.
If Antabuse is used as part of alcohol addiction treatment, your doctor may ask your relatives to give this medication to youto be sure the medication is used as prescribed.
The long-term application of Antabuse, up to several months or even years, helps in getting the most benefit.
Like many medications, Antabuse can be used also for indications other than specified in the drug label.
While on Antabuse, potassium levels should be monitored regularly because hypokalemia has been reported.
Antabuse Adverse Effects
A patient may experience an allergy to Antabuse, such as hives, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, difficult breathing. Seek emergency medical attention, if you have any signs of rapid weight gain or worsen congestive heart failure.
Alcoholcan produce unpleasant symptoms during Antabuse application, including increased thirst, nausea, severe vomiting, dark urine, flushing, neck pain, headache, blurred vision, chest pain, fast heartbeats, weakness, confusion, itching, loss of appetite, unusual behavior, feeling unsteady.
Large amounts of alcohol may cause more severe symptoms, such as slow heart rate, severe chest pain, fainting, weak pulse, seizure, weak breathing, or slow breathing. Be aware that a disulfiram-alcohol reaction can be fatal for a patient.
Common adverse effects of Antabuse include skin rash, acne, loss of interest in sex, garlic-like taste in the mouth.
First two weeks of treatment, a single dose is 125 mg, reaching average maintenance dose 250 mg daily, usually taken in the morning. The average maintenance dose is 250 mg daily (from 125 to 500 mg); it should not exceed 500 mg daily. The dosage may be decreased to minimize the sedative effect the drug may cause.
If you missed the dose, take it as soon as you remember, but skip it if it is nearly time for the next scheduled dose. Do not take extra pill to make up for the missed dose.
The daily administration of Antabuse is recommended until the full recovery of the patient. The maintenance therapy may be required for months, depending on the patient’s state.
Did You Know?
Antabuse was considered advisable for each patient to experience at least one alcohol-drug reaction during early clinical trials. Currently, the test reaction is not recommended anymore, especially to patients over 50 years of age. A clear and convincing description of the body reaction is believed to be sufficient in most cases.