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Antabuse

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Antabuse (Disulfiram) is used to help treat alcoholism.


Drug Name

Antabuse (Disulfiram)

Drug Uses

This medication is used to help treat alcoholism. This drug is not a cure for alcoholism and must be used in combination with supportive therapy and counseling. This medication must never be used without a person's knowledge.

How Taken

Take this medication by mouth, usually one or two tablets daily as directed by your doctor. Tablets can be crushed or mixed with liquid if swallowing is a problem. Do not take this medication for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol. While taking this medication, it is extremely important you avoid alcohol in all forms including beer, wine, aftershave lotions, mouthwash, colognes, liquid medications. Read labels carefully, including those of nonprescription products, and ask your pharmacist about the alcohol content if you are uncertain.

Drug Class and Mechanism

Antabuse produces a sensitivity to alcohol which results in a highly unpleasant reaction when the patient under treatment ingests even small amounts of alcohol. Antabuse blocks the oxidation of alcohol at the acetaldehyde stage. During alcohol metabolism after antabuse intake, the concentration of acetaldehyde occurring in the blood may be 5 to 10 times higher than that found during metabolism of the same amount of alcohol alone. Accumulation of acetaldehyde in the blood produces a complex of highly unpleasant symptoms referred to as the antabuse-alcohol reaction. This reaction, which is proportional to the dosage of both antabuse and alcohol, will persist as long as alcohol is being metabolized. Antabuse does not appear to influence the rate of alcohol elimination from the body.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Storage

Store this medicine at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) in a tightly-closed container, away from heat and light.