Antabuse

Generic Name: Disulfiram

  • What is Antabuse?

    Antabuse is a medicine used as an aid in the treatment of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Antabuse?

    While taking Antabuse, avoid all alcohol, including sauces, vinegars, mouthwash, liquid medicines, lotions, after shave, or backrub products that contain alcohol. A reaction to alcohol may cause flushing, nausea, thirst, abdominal pain, chest pain, dizziness, vomiting, rapid breathing, fast heartbeat, fainting, difficulty breathing, or confusion.

    You may have a reaction if you drink alcohol or use a product that contains alcohol up to 14 days after your last dose of Antabuse.

    Do not take the first dose of Antabuse for at least 12 hours after your last consumption of alcohol.

    Antabuse can cause drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or engage in any dangerous activity until you know how Antabuse affects you. Using Antabuse alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol can decrease your ability to drive or perform dangerous tasks.

    Tell your doctor immediately if you experience jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), dark urine, weakness, tiredness, loss of appetite, or nausea and vomiting. These may be signs of a liver problem.

    Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Antabuse.

    Carry an identification card at all times that says you are taking Antabuse.

    You should use Antabuse with extreme caution if you have any of the following conditions: diabetes, hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), seizures, brain damage, chronic and acute nephritis (kidney inflammation), liver insufficiency or cirrhosis (scarring of the liver).

  • Who should not take Antabuse?

    Do not take Antabuse if you are receiving or have recently received metronidazole, paraldehyde, alcohol, or alcohol-containing preparations such as cough syrups and tonics.

    Do not take Antabuse if you have heart disease, psychosis, or are allergic to disulfiram, other thiuram derivatives, or rubber.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Antabuse?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Antabuse. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of brain damage, diabetes, heart or lung disease, mental or mood problems such as depression, an underactive thyroid, seizures, liver or kidney problems.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you.

  • How should I take Antabuse?

    Take Antabuse exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use Antabuse for at least 12 hours following your last consumption of alcohol.

    You can take Antabuse with or without food. Antabuse may be swallowed whole, chewed, or crushed and mixed with food.

  • What should I avoid while taking Antabuse?

    Avoid all alcohol and alcohol-containing products.

    Do not drive, operate machinery, or engage in any dangerous activities until you know how you react to Antabuse.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Antabuse?

    If Antabuse is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Antabuse with the following: alcohol-containing medicines and cough syrups, benzodiazepines (such as diazepam), blood-thinning medications (such as warfarin), isoniazid, metronidazole, or phenytoin.

  • What are the possible side effects of Antabuse?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: blurred vision, changes in color vision, dark urine, drowsiness, headache, hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), loss of appetite, mental or mood problems, metallic or garlic taste in the mouth

  • Can I receive Antabuse if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Antabuse during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Antabuse?

    If you miss a dose of Antabuse, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Antabuse?

    Store at room temperature.