It is usually difficult for people suffering from alcohol addiction to cope with this trouble without taking medicines. Today in New Zealand, three drugs against alcohol dependence are approved, one of which is Disulfiram, also called Antabuse.
About the Drug
Antabuse (Disulfiram) is an oral medication that is produced to treat alcoholism and suppress alcohol addiction. When using the drug, the craving for alcohol gradually decreases. Taking even a very small dose of alcohol during this period leads to extremely unpleasant sensations due to the blockage of the oxidation of such a substance as acetaldehyde. A patient who has consumed alcohol gets an effect similar to that of a severe hangover.
Antabuse can only be taken after consulting a doctor and receiving a prescription. The permissible dosage of the drug is individual and depends on the patient's health state. Therefore, just your doctor can set it up. In most cases 1 tablet is taken daily with a little water. Taking the drug does not depend on the meals and can be done before bedtime if the patient becomes drowsy after using it. The daily dose of Antabuse should not exceed 500 mg.
Side effects are usually mild and stop after a while as the body gets used to the drug. They include: headache, acne, a strange metallic or garlic taste in the mouth, severe weakness and fatigue. If the symptoms persist and worry you greatly, then it is recommended to see the doctor.
The patient should contact the doctor immediately if the following more serious reactions occur: mood swings, visual disturbances, problems with sexual activity, cramps, and severe muscle weakness.
If you begin experiencing unbearable abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, or prolonged nausea during the treatment, then this may be a signal of serious liver problems. In this case, you should stop taking the drug and immediately seek medical help.
If you notice any allergic reaction (skin rash, swelling, trouble breathing), then seek immediate medical help.
Before using the drug, ask your doctor about the full list of possible side effects, and also tell your doctor about your medical history and about all the drugs you are currently taking.
Take Antabuse only as directed by your doctor.
It is not recommended to take Antabuse to the patients suffering from any mental illness, heart or kidney disease, diabetes, problems with blood vessels.
During the treatment it is prohibited to consume alcohol, as well as the products containing alcohol. Avoid taking caffeine.
The consumption of alcoholic beverages during therapy can lead to dangerous consequences, such as a loss of consciousness, convulsions, and severe stomach ache. In this case, you should immediately seek medical help.
If urgently needed, Antabuse can be prescribed to pregnant women, although this is undesirable. There is no information on the effect of the drug on a child during breastfeeding. Tell the doctor ahead of time if you are breastfeeding or pregnant before the medication is prescribed.
Alcohol, caffeine, and certain medications can change the way the drug works and affect its effectiveness. Obtain a complete product instruction from your doctor and follow it throughout the whole treatment course.