|Brand Name||Disulfiram (generic Antabuse)|
|Medication||250 and 500 mg|
When taken with alcohol, Antabuse produces very unpleasant effects, such as severe headache, flushing, vomiting and chest pain.
Taking Antabuse is part of a recovery program that includes medical supervision and counseling.
Antabuse contains the active ingredient Disulfiram, which is a type of medicine called an aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor. Antabuse is prescribed to recovering alcoholics to help them abstain from drinking alcohol. If someone is taking Antabuse drinks alcohol, it quickly causes a severe, unpleasant and potentially dangerous reaction and knowledge of this fact can help to stop people from drinking alcohol.
Antabuse works by interfering with the way the body metabolises alcohol. Alcohol is broken down in the body to a compound called acetaldehyde. This is then normally broken down further by an enzyme in the liver called aldehyde dehydrogenase. Antabuse stops this enzyme from working. This means that when Alcohol is consumed, the body cannot process it normally. Instead, acetaldehyde accumulates in the bloodstream.
High levels of acetaldehyde act directly on the heart and blood vessels, causing flushing, a racing heartbeat and a drop in blood pressure that causes dizziness. Other unpleasant symptoms include headache, shortness of breath, palpitations, nausea and vomiting. This reaction to alcohol is often called the Antabuse reaction and is usually enough to deter people from having another drink.
The Antabuse-alcohol reaction occurs within ten minutes of ingesting alcohol and may last for several hours. It can be potentially dangerous. For some people, knowing that they cannot drink alcohol without having this reaction is what is needed to help them being tempted in a weak moment.
Take Antabuse tablets orally. You must never take Antabuse within 12 hours of taking alcohol. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. The tablets can be crushed and mixed with liquid before taking. Antabuse is usually taken in the morning, but if it makes you drowsy you can take it at bedtime. Take your Antabuse doses regularly.
The usual starting dose of Antabuse is 250 mg. However the dose of Antabuse may be increased to 500 mg as per your physicians' instructions. Have you skipped your Antabuse dose?
If you miss a dose of Antabuse, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose of Antabuse, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses of Antabuse. If you take too much of Antabuse?
Incase of an overdose with Antabuse seek medical emergency.
Symptoms of Antabuse overdose include
Store Antabuse at room temperature, approximately 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). Throw away any unused amount of Antabuse after the expiry date.Available strengths of Antabuse
The following drugs may interact with Antabuse. They may increase or decrease the activity of Antabuse.
Inform your health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way Antabuse works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
Who should not take Antabuse?
Antabuse should not be used by people who have a history of stroke, hypertension, coronary heart disease, psychotic illness or people who are at risk of suicide.
Antabuse is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Antabuse will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take Antabuse without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
Antabuse passes into breast milk in small amounts and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take Antabuse without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Antabuse should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using Antabuse and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Inform your health care professional or counselor for regular checks on your progress. Do not stop taking Antabuse except on your prescriber's advice.
Never take alcohol or use toiletries that contain alcohol. Always read labels carefully.
Many cough syrups, liquid pain medications, tonics, mouthwash, aftershave lotions, colognes, liniments, vinegars, or sauces contain alcohol. Avoid inhaling the fumes of paints, paint thinners, or other products that contain organic solvents. Reactions can occur for up to 2 weeks after you stop taking Antabuse.
The following reactions can occur if you take alcohol with, or within 14 days of stopping Antabuse therapy: blurred vision; chest pain and fast or pounding heartbeat; dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; nervousness and confusion; severe nausea, vomiting; increased sweating; increased thirst; throbbing headache and neck pain; weakness.
Make sure that family members or others in your household know about Antabuse and what to do in an emergency. They must never give you Antabuse if you have been drinking alcohol.
You may get drowsy, dizzy or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how Antabuse affects you.
Do not treat yourself with medicines for coughs, colds, or allergies while you are taking Antabuse; they may add to its effects. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for advice.
Side effects of Antabuse that should be reported to your health care professional as soon as possible:
Side effects of Antabuse that should be reported to your health care professional if they continue or are bothersome: