Antabuse is a medication used to treat chronic alcoholism. It contains active substance disulfiram bis(diethylthiocarbamoyl) which blocks alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), the enzyme involved into metabolism of ethanol. Consequently blood concentration of acetaldehyde increases and causes unpleasant feelings such as flushing, nausea, vomiting, tachycardia, lowering blood pressure, etc. Consummation of alcoholic beverages becomes extremely unpleasant during treatment with Antabuse.
Dosage and direction
Take it orally at least 12 hours after your drinking of alcohol. While taking Anabuse avoid drinking alcoholic beverages in any form: beer, wine, aftershave lotions, liquid medications, mouthwash, colognes. Take the pill with a full glass of water.
Inform your doctor if you have problems with heart, stomach or duodenal ulcers, disorders of cerebral circulation and disulfiram psychosis in history. Cautiousness should be exercised while using Anabuse in the patients over 60 years of age.
Antabuse cannot be used in the patients with severe diseases of the cardiovascular system, neuritis of the auditory nerve, glaucoma, optic neuritis, bronchial asthma, emphysema, pulmonary tuberculosis, severe hepatic impairment, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, mental illness, acute peptic ulcer, diseases of kidneys, malignant tumor, polyneuritis, pregnant and breastfeeding women, allergic reaction to the medication.
Possible side effect
The most common side effects include: restlessness, headache, drowsiness, skin rash, acne, changes in vision, garlic-like aftertaste. More rare but serious adverse reactions may occur: tingling hands or feet, fatigue, weakness, strong stomach pains, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes or skin. If you have serious side effects, they become bothersome and worsen notify your doctor and seek immediate medical attention.
Inform your health care advisor about all medications and herbal products you are taking and especially about tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine (Tofranil), amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), isoniazid (Nydrazid), phenytoin (Dilantin), warfarin (Coumadin), metronidazole (Flagyl), theophylline (Theo-Dur), MAO inhibitors such as phenelzine (Nardil), isocarboxazid (Marplan), or tranylcypromine (Parnate); benzodiazepine such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), clorazepate (Tranxene), temazepam (Restoril), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), triazolam (Halcion), lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith, others).
Never take a double dose of this medication. If it is almost time of the next dose just skip the missed portion and continue to take the medicine according to the schedule.
Immediate medical care is needed in case of Anabuse overdose which symptoms include loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, numbness and tingling, and seizures.
Store at room temperature of 59-86 F (15-30 C) away from moisture and sunlight. Keep away from moisture (bathroom).