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.
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.
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.
The most common side effects include:
changes in vision,
More rare but serious adverse reactions may occur:
tingling hands or feet,
strong stomach pains,
loss of appetite, nausea,
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.
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).
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Josette Davignon
Last updated: 4.06.2020