|Alcoholism - deterrent to alcohol
Antabuse (Disulfiram) is an aid in the management of selected chronic alcohol patients who want to remain in a state of enforced sobriety so that supportive and psychotherapeutic treatment may be applied to best advantage.
Antabuse (Disulfiram) is not a cure for alcoholism. When used alone, without proper motivation and supportive therapy, it is unlikely that it will have any substantive effect on the drinking pattern of the chronic alcoholic.
Dosage and Administration
Take Antabuse (Disulfiram) by mouth, usually one or two tablets daily as directed by your physician. 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.
Antabuse (Disulfiram) should never be administered until the patient has abstained from alcohol for at least 12 hours.
Initial Dosage Schedule: In the first phase of treatment. a maximum of 500mg daily is given in a single dose for one to two weeks. Although usually taken in the morning, Antabuse (Disulfiram) may be taken on retiring by patients who experience a sedative effect. Alternatively, to minimize, or eliminate, the sedative effect, dosage may be adjusted downward.
Maintenance Regimen: The average maintenance dose is 250mg daily (range, 125 to 500mg). it should not exceed 500mg daily.
Note: Occasionally patients. while seemingly on adequate maintenance doses of disutfiram, report that they are able to drink alcoholic beverages with impunity and without any symptomatology. All appearances to the contrary. such patients must be presumed to be disposing of their tablets in some manner without actually taking them. Until such patients have been observed reliably taking their daily disutfiram tablets (preferably crushed and well mixed with liquid), it cannot be concluded thal Antabuse (Disulfiram) is ineffective.
Antabuse (Disulfiram) may cause headache, drowsiness, restlessness, skin rash, acne, garlic-like aftertaste, changes in vision. Inform your physician if any of these effects persist or worsen. Unlikely to occur but report immediately: tingling hands or feet, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, strong stomach pains, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes or skin. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your physician or pharmacist.
Tell your physician your medical history, especially: heart disease, liver or kidney disease, psychiatric problems, diabetes, any allergies (especially to rubber or pesticides).
This medication causes an intolerance to alcohol. Drinking alcohol while on this medication can cause serious effects that can last from 30 minutes to several hours. It produces an unpleasant reaction of flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, pounding heart (palpitations), blurred vision or weakness when even small amounts of alcohol are ingested. These Antabuse (Disulfiram)-alcohol reactions can occur up to two weeks after the medication has been stopped. Because Antabuse (Disulfiram) can cause drowsiness, use caution when driving or engaging in activities requiring alertness.
Antabuse (Disulfiram) should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your physician. It is not known if Antabuse (Disulfiram) is excreted into breast milk. Consult your physician before breast-feeding.