DISULFIRAM - Watsons Health

DISULFIRAM

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Antabuse

GENERIC NAME(S): DISULFIRAM

 

Description: Disulfiram inhibits aldehyde dehydrogenase, the oxidative enzyme of acetaldehyde, a metabolite of alcohol. Acetaldehyde is accumulated in the blood, thus producing unpleasant symptoms of disulfiram-alcohol reaction when a patient has taken small amounts of alcohol.

This medication is used along with counseling and support to treat alcoholism. It blocks the processing of alcohol in the body. This causes you to have a bad reaction when you drink alcohol.

How to use Disulfiram

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once daily in the morning or as directed by your doctor. If this medication causes drowsiness, take it at bedtime.  Strictly follow the dosage for you.  The maximum recommended daily dose is 500 milligrams.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

Do not take this medication if you are under the influence of alcohol or have drunk alcohol in the last 12 hours.

Side effects may range from mild to serious complications.  Consult your doctor immediately when you feel the following symptoms: Drowsiness, tiredness, headache, acne, and metallic/garlic-like taste in the mouth may occur as your body gets used to the medication, decreased sexual ability, vision changes, numbness/tingling of arms/legs, muscle weakness, mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, extreme excitement/confusion), seizures, confusion, liver disease- persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.

Seek emergency medical help if you experience allergies (rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing) or the symptoms mentioned above while taking this drug.

Precautions

Inform your doctor of your allergies (food or drugs), medical conditions and  medical history before taking this drug, especially of:  severe heart/blood vessel disease (e.g., coronary artery disease), certain mental/mood condition (psychosis), diabetes, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), brain disorders (e.g., seizures, brain damage), kidney disease, liver disease, personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs.

Avoid all alcoholic beverages or alcohol-containing products/foods (e.g., cough and cold syrups, mouthwash, aftershave, sauces, vinegars) while taking and until 2 weeks after taking this medication.  Using alcohol with this medication may produce the following symptoms: flushing, throbbing headache, breathing problems (e.g., shortness of breath, fast breathing), nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme tiredness, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, or blurred vision.

A more serious reaction with this medication and alcohol may include trouble breathing, seizures, loss of consciousness, chest/jaw/left arm pain. Seek immediate medical attention if you have these symptoms.

For pregnant and nursing (breastfeeding) women, consult your doctor before using this medication.

 

Interactions

Before using this drug, tell your doctor of the current medications, products (herbal/nonprescription) that you are taking especially of: alcohol-containing products (e.g., cough and cold syrups, aftershave), metronidazole, amitriptyline, “blood thinners” (e.g., warfarin), certain medications for seizures (e.g., hydantoins such as phenytoin/fosphenytoin), isoniazid, theophylline.

Avoid caffeine- containing beverages/products because this drug increases the side effects of caffeine.

This drug may interfere with certain laboraty tests.

Overdose

Get medical emergency help immediately when you experience symptoms of overdose:

vomiting, drowsiness, loss of coordination, loss of consciousness.

Missed Dose

Take it as soon as you remember.  Do not increase the dose to catch up. If it is less than 6 hours until the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Discard the drug properly- do not throw in toilet or sink.

 

Brands

There are no brands containing this molecule.

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