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Disulfiram Side Effects

disulfiram side effects

disulfiram Side Effects Center

Antabuse (disulfiram) is an alcohol antagonist drug used to treat chronic alcoholism. Antabuse is available in generic form. Common side effects of Antabuse include:

  • drowsiness,
  • tiredness,
  • headache,
  • metallic or garlic-like taste in the mouth,
  • skin rash or acne,
  • impotence, and
  • swollen or sore tongue;

In the first phase of treatment, a maximum of 500 mg of Antabuse daily is given in a single dose for one to two weeks. The average maintenance dose of Antabuse is 250 mg daily (range, 125 to 500 mg), not to exceed 500 mg daily. Do not drink alcohol and avoid all alcohol-containing products (e.g., cough and cold syrups, mouthwash, or foods containing alcohol) while taking this medication.

disulfiram

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Even small amounts of alcohol can produce unpleasant symptoms while disulfiram is in your body. These symptoms include:

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • sweating, increased thirst, swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • nausea, severe vomiting;
  • neck pain, throbbing headache, blurred vision;
  • chest pain, shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
  • fast or pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • confusion, weakness, spinning sensation, feeling unsteady; or
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered: Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of disulfiram in children with use in other age groups. Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of disulfiram in the elderly with use in other age groups.

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Proper Use

In addition to beverages, alcohol is found in many other products. Reading the list of ingredients on foods and other products before using them will help you to avoid alcohol. Do not use alcohol-containing foods such as sauces and vinegars.

Before you take the first dose of this medicine, make sure you have not taken any alcoholic beverage or alcohol-containing product or medicine (for example, tonics, elixirs, and cough syrups) during the past 12 hours. If you are not sure about the alcohol content of medicines you may have taken, check with your health care professional.

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