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Where is Disulfiram used?

Disulfiram is an aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor used in people with chronic alcoholism. This will help retain you from drinking due to the unpleasant side effects that will happen if you drink alcohol while taking this drug.

This medication is not a cure for alcoholism. When it is used without appropriate motivation and supportive treatment, it is unlikely that it will have any functional effect on the drinking pattern of the chronic alcoholic. This medicine should be used along with counseling and support. Disulfiram has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

How does Disulfiram work?

Disulfiram interferes with the method the body metabolizes alcohol. Alcohol is broken down in the body to acetaldehyde. This is then usually broken down further by an enzyme in the liver called aldehyde dehydrogenase. This medicine stops this enzyme from working. When alcohol is consumed, the body cannot process it generally. As an alternative, acetaldehyde builds up in the bloodstream.

How is Disulfiram taken?

The dosage for this medication will depend on your medical condition and response to the treatment.

  • This medicine is usually taken once a day in the morning or as directed by your doctor. If it causes you drowsiness, you may take it at bedtime.
  • The maximum recommended daily dose is 500 milligrams.
  • Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water.
  • Each dose may be taken with or without food.
  • Use this medicine regularly.
  • Take it at the same time every day.
  • Do not double the prescribed dosage to avoid some complications.
  • If you missed a dose, call your healthcare provider for instructions.

What are the possible side effects of Disulfiram?

  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Skin rash or acne
  • Metallic or garlic taste in the mouth
  • Swollen or sore tongue
  • Impotence
  • Vision changes
  • Muscle weakness

What are the precautions in taking Disulfiram?

  • This is not prescribed if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this, let your doctor know if you have severe heart or blood vessel disease and certain mental/mood conditions.
  • This is only used when needed on pregnant women. Call your doctor right away if you get pregnant while taking this medication.
  • If you are breastfeeding women, talk to your doctor first. This medicine should only be used when needed.
  • Stop taking this and call your doctor if there is an allergic reaction.
  • You should not drink any alcoholic beverages including beer, wine, and medications that have alcohol like cough syrup while taking this medicine, for several weeks after stopping the drug, or during the 12 hours before you take your first dose.
  • Avoid vinegar, sauces, and all foods or beverages that have alcohol.
  • You must know that this medicine may make you drowsy. Do not operate machinery or drive a car until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Do not let anybody else take your medicine.
  • This medicine could increase the side effects of caffeine. Prevent from drinking large amounts of beverages that have caffeine such as colas, coffee, or tea, or eating large amounts of chocolate.