Disulfiram (Antabuse) is a drug that is prescribed for treating chronic alcoholism. Well, Disulfiram never cures alcoholism, but it only adds to the supportive therapy.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Disulfiram works by blocking the oxidation of alcohol in the body. The drug is known to increase the acetaldehyde concentration in the blood. A person who has taken Disulfiram is likely to come across unpleasant reactions even if alcohol is taken in small quantities.
How to use
Disulfiram is an oral drug. The medicine has to be taken as per the prescription. The normal dosage is two or three tablets a day. The drug has to be swallowed and if there is any problem in doing so, it can be crushed or mixed with some liquid and taken.
If an Disulfiram dose is missed, take the missed one as soon as you realise it. But care should be taken not to take the drug if it is almost time for the next scheduled dose. Never mix two doses of Disulfiram.
If you fee of having taken an over dose of the drug, contact your doctor immediately. Nausea, dizziness, vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures and tingling are some of the side effects that come with an Disulfiram overdose.
It is always better to take Disulfiram after consulting the doctor. When talking with your doctor, tell him about all your preset and past health problems, which help him to make a right decision on the medication. Frankly tell him if you are having epilepsy, kidney or liver disease, thyroid problems, diabetes, mental disorders, brain damage or seizure disorders.
The drug is rated FDA pregnancy category C, which means that it is not known if the drug can cause harm to the unborn or the newborn babe. Even then, if pregnant or breast feeding, it is good to take the medicine only after consulting your doctor.
When you are taking Disulfiram, you should avoid all kinds of alcohols. You should also be aware of the products that contain alcohol. Keep away from products like mouthwash, aftershave lotions, colognes and other medicines, which all contain alcohol. After taking Disulfiram, you should no consume alcohol for the next 12 hours.
Just like all drugs, Disulfiram also comes with many side effects. While taking the drug, some people may come across allergic reactions like swelling (lips, face, tongue) and hives.
Shortness of breath, seizures, tiredness, yellowing of skin or eyes, dark urine, appetite changes, dizziness, vomiting, weakness and severe diarrhoea are some of the severe side effects that come with Disulfiram. If you come across any of these conditions, better stop the drug and contact your doctor immediately.
Some of the lesser-known side effects that one experience with Disulfiram are skin rashes, mild headaches, metallic taste, mild weakness and dizziness, and swollen tongue.
Disulfiram has to be stored at room temperatures between 59 degrees F and 86 degrees F. The drug has to be stored in tight containers and kept away from light and heat.
Antabuse, the generic name of which is known as disulfiram, is used for treating chronic alcoholism.
The drug acts by creating a negative reaction in people who drink alcohol. The drug interferes with the production of acetaldehydem a toxic substance which leads to hangover symptoms in heavy drinkers. The body usually oxidises acetaldehydem to form acetic acid. But the drug stops the oxidation process, which leads to many severe and mild reactions. This would make an alcoholic averse to alcohol consumption.
When using Antabuse, a person should always be cautious. One should always stick to the doctor's prescription. When taking the medicine, a person should never use alcohol as it can lead to unpleasant effects. The drug has to be used only by persons for whom it has been advised or it can lead to many compactions if used by others.
There are many situations when the doctor alters the medicine or the drug may be discarded for another medicine. A person having disease of the kidney or liver, thyroid disease, mental disorder, brain damage, thyroid disease and epilepsy. Though disulfiram is not known to cause harm to the newborn it is good to consult the physician before he prescribes the drug. On the other hand, it is known that the medicine may pass into breast-milk. So a breast-feeding woman should never use disulfiram.
One important thing that has to be kept in mind by persons is that they should never consume alcohol while using Antabuse. If Alcohol is taken along with the drug, a person can come across fast heartbeat, flushing, thirst, nausea, chest pain, low pressure and vertigo. It is advised that Antabuse drugs should not be taken for about 12 hours after consuming alcohol.
A person taking disulfiram should also be cautious of the products that contain alcohol. Always take care when using cold or cough drugs, tonics, vinegars, sauces, mouthwashes, aftershaves and other products that contain alcohol. One should also avoid contact with paint thinners, stains, solvents, lacquers, perfumes, colognes and antiseptics. The presence of alcohol in these products can also lead to various reactions.
In case of using antibiotic, or going for dental treatment, the doctor should be told before hand as it can lead to many complications. It is better to tell the doctor if a person is using isoniazid, monoamine oxidase inhibitor, benzodiazepine, tricyclic antidepressant, warfarin, metronidazole, theophylline, phenytoin and lithium.
As like all drugs, disulfiram also comes with many side effects. The serious side effects that come with Antabuse include allergic reactions such as tongue, lips, mouth and face, breathing issues and hives. The other serious side effects are extreme tiredness, yellow skin or eye, dark urine, appetite changes, dizziness, weakness, coordination loss, vomiting and diarrhea.
The minor side effects may be rashes, acne, drowsiness, tiredness, headache, impotence, sore tongue and metallic taste.
Disulfiram has been approved for treating alcohol abuse by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In many countries, the drug has been prescribed for persons who want to quit alcohols.
Alcohol and drugs can have an effect on one’s health. People are drawn into alcohol because of various reasons. Some people just want to relax with a drink at hand after a long day. There are some who drink to relieve stress and some to loosen up and have fun. It effects on health and fitness may be direct or indirect, on and off the field. It is imperative that athletes or anyone planning in doing physical exercise not consume any alcohol for a significant period before and after their work out sessions. The following are the effects of alcohol on health.
Why alcohol is hazardous for health?
A person tries to enjoy his life at its best. Well, he goes to hilly areas which he like, he eat the food and drink the juices he like. In such a way, he tries to make every moment of his life memorable. Sometimes these habits may lead him towards the poor health. Here I shall discuss about the use of alcohols by the people and its bad affects on the health. When we look at the people who have a lot of money, they just want to spend their money on different activities. They go to late night parties without knowing what is going to happen there. They enjoy alcohol and other drugs with friends. This is one of the biggest reasons of bad health of such people. Every person starts drinking alcohol on the request of someone but when he takes it one time, he desires to get it again. And then he starts using alcohol daily. Many of us will be using alcohols but it should be kept in mind that if it is not showing bad affects on health now, then it will definitely show its severe affects on health you will get older.
What are the reasons of increasing number of alcohol users? We know that the money is not revolving between all people, so those people who are rich want to spend their money on any activity. Such people arrange dance parties and other parties according to the calendar, and present alcohol as drink to visitors. Those who did not use alcohol taste it and then start drinking it with friends whenever they go to parties.
The use of alcohol has many disadvantages and some of them are given below:
1. Shaking head and nervous system problem
After drinking alcohol, the person cannot perform any work for more than 2-3 hours because of alcohol affect on mind. The head of person remains shaking which may lead him towards death if he is moving from a high traffic area. On the other hand, the excessive use of alcohol can also damage your nervous system. Many nerves become inactive due to its use and in any stage nervous breakdown can also occur. Since the nervous system is considered as one of the important parts of human body so it is necessary for you to avoid the use of alcohol. Any severe nervous system problem will definitely ruin your whole life.
2. Destruction of life
If you drink alcohol too much that there are maximum chances that you will ruin your marriage life. Besides this, you may have an abusive lifestyle which can destroy your health and fitness as well as relationship with your family members. Alcoholism also affects your driving skills and many other activities which are the part of your life. A normal person has a good immune system which protects him from maximum kinds of health diseases. Another disadvantage of using alcohol is that it can destroy your immune system. After this, the chances of becoming the victim of health diseases will be high.