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Disulfiram Uk

disulfiram uk

Disulfiram tablets

Disulfiram is used alongside other treatments and counselling for alcohol dependency. It is only suitable for people who have been through detoxification ('detox') and have stopped drinking alcohol. It acts as a deterrent to drinking further alcohol.

Disulfiram works by interfering with the way your body breaks down alcohol. Usually when you drink alcohol, your body breaks the alcohol down into a substance called acetaldehyde. This is then broken down further so that it can be removed from your body. Disulfiram blocks the enzyme which breaks down the acetaldehyde. This leads to high levels of acetaldehyde in your blood and causes an unpleasant effect.

Before taking disulfiram

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking disulfiram it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have a problem with your heart, or if you have high blood pressure.
  • If you have had a mental health problem called psychosis, or if you have ever had a personality disorder.
  • If you have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
  • If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or the way your kidneys work.
  • If you have a high blood sugar level (diabetes).
  • If you have epilepsy.
  • If you have problems with your breathing.
  • If you have a rare inherited condition called porphyria.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

How to take disulfiram

Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about disulfiram and a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it. It is important that you have not drunk any alcohol for at least 24 hours before you take your first dose of disulfiram.

Take disulfiram exactly as your doctor tells you to. You may be asked to take several tablets a day during the first few days of treatment, but after this your dose will be reduced. As a guide, the usual recommended daily dose is one 200 mg tablet, although your dose may be different to this.

Can disulfiram cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with disulfiram. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

How to store disulfiram

Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children. Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

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