Disulfiram
   

Disulfiram
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(dye SUL fi ram)

Brand Names
Antabuse®

Therapeutic Categories
Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Inhibitor

Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to disulfiram or any other part of the medicine.
  • If you have severe coronary artery disease or thinking disturbances such as schizophrenia.
  • If you drink alcohol, take any alcohol-containing medicines, or take metronidazole.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used to help stop you from drinking.


How does it work?

  • Disulfiram changes the way the body handles alcohol. If you drink alcohol, this medicine will cause side effects such as, flushing, headaches, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and belly pain.


How is it best taken?

  • Tablet may be crushed and mixed with nonalcoholic beverages.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.
  • You may not be alert. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Avoid all alcohol intake (includes wine, beer, liquor, liquid medications, vinegar, and food with alcohol in it). Can cause a reaction that includes rapid heartbeats, sweating, chest pain, flushing, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, and low blood pressure.
  • Limit caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate intake. Use with this medicine may cause nervousness, shakiness, rapid heartbeats, and anxiety.
  • Do not take for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol. Side effects from drinking alcohol may occur for 2 weeks after disulfiram is stopped.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Drowsiness. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Headache. Mild pain medicine may help.
  • Garlic or metallic taste.
  • Rarely,serious liver problems. Some patients have needed liver transplants. Some have died.


What should I monitor?

  • Make sure food and medicines do not have alcohol contained in them.
  • Check liver function tests before starting medicine and about 2 weeks after taking.
  • Follow up with healthcare provider.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • If alcohol is taken.
  • Nausea, vomiting, belly pain, feeling tired, dark urine, yellow eyes or skin, not hungry.
  • Any rash.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight, light-resistant container at room temperature.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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