The statistics shows that in 2018 in Ireland deaths caused by alcohol amounted to more than thousand cases. About 100 thousand people in Ireland suffer from alcohol addiction. Just 18 % of them receive the necessary treatment. There are a number of medicines that can help to fight alcoholism.
Antabuse (disulfiram) is an oral FDA-approved drug created to cure alcohol addiction. It helps to reduce alcohol consumption to zero within people seeking to fight alcoholism.
In the process of metabolizing even a small amount of alcohol, the drug blocks the oxidation of acetaldehyde, which causes extremely unpleasant state that can be compared to severe hangover.
Antabuse is available with a doctor's prescription. Consult your doctor about its use and tell if you are allergic to any substance or medicine. Antabuse can cause unwanted effects if the patient has mental illnesses, blood vessel disease or heart disease. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a thyroid disorder, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.
A patient taking Antabuse should not take any alcohol-containing substances and products during the treatment and some weeks after the course completion. A small dose of alcohol at this time can lead to such temporary (from 30 minutes to several hours) reactions as severe headache, breathing disorders, flushing, vomiting, loss of energy, vision problems, fainting.
If a patient, who has taken alcohol during the treatment, begins experiencing pain in the left arm, chest or jaw, cramps, severe breathing problems or loss of consciousness, then it is necessary to seek medical help immediately.
Antabuse is usually not recommended to pregnant women. However, if it’s necessary, it can be prescribed by the doctor.
There is no data on whether the drug can harm a baby while breastfeeding. Before using it warn the doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant.
The drug should be taken as prescribed by your doctor. Usually, it is prescribed to take 1 tablet per day with some water, regardless of meals. You can take it before going to bed, if the drug causes drowsiness. The dose is individualized and set by the doctor (500 mg is the maximum daily dose).
Possible side reactions include: a specific taste in the mouth, drowsiness, acne, headache, fatigue. As soon as your body adapts to the medicine, the side effects should go away. However, if they persist, consult the doctor. Most patients do not experience significant health changes.
Serious side effects include vision problems, mood swings, decreased sexual function, muscle weakness, and seizures. If you have these symptoms, then call the doctor immediately.
In rare cases, the drug can cause serious liver problems. Seek medical help if you notice dark urine, severe abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin, or persistent nausea. These symptoms are unlikely, but very dangerous.
You should call the doctor if there are any signs of an allergy to the drug: dizziness, rash, swelling of the throat or tongue, breathing disorders. Consult with your doctor about a complete list of possible side effects.
Share with the doctor the list of the drugs you use. There are some substances that, in combination with Antabuse, can change its effect. They include: alcohol-containing products, anticoagulants, amitriptyline, anticonvulsants, metronidazole, tinidazole, isoniazid, and theophylline. Avoid taking caffeine during using Antabuse.