Antabuse (Disulfiram) Product Information
Antabuse is used to treat chronic alcoholism.
Antabuse comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It's typically taken once a day.
Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully when taking this medicine.
If you can't swallow the tablets, you can crush them and mix with water, tea, coffee, milk, juice, or a soft drink.
Your doctor may recommend that a family member or other caregiver administer your dose. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions.
Common Side Effects
Tell your doctor if any of the symptoms listed in the warnings section above, or any of the following side effects, become severe or don't go away:
- Skin rash
- Mild headache
- Metallic taste or garlic-like taste in mouth
- Impotence or lack of interest in sex
Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Signs of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction (may include hives, rash, itching, chest tightness, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat)
- Unusual thoughts or behaviors
- Extreme fatigue or tiredness
- Weak or shallow breathing
- Slow heart rate or weak pulse
- Severe chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach or vomiting
- Dark-colored urine
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Eye pain or sudden vision loss
Combining with alcohol — such as by taking it while already drunk — can cause a fatal reaction.
Don't take this medicine if you've consumed alcohol within the past 12 hours. Don't drink alcohol while taking the drug or for up to 14 days after you stop taking it.
When it is combined with alcohol, it may cause symptoms such as:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Flushing of the face
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty breathing, or choking
This isn't a cure for alcoholism, but it may effectively discourage some people from drinking.
Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor if you have, or have ever had:
- Thyroid disease
- Brain damage or a head injury
- Mental illness
- Heart disease
- A heart attack or stroke
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Allergies to medications
Be sure to tell your doctor you're taking this medication before having any type of surgery, including a dental procedure.
You shouldn't use Disulfiram if you've recently taken the drugs Flagyl (metronidazole) or paraldehyde.
Many common foods and other products may contain a small amount of alcohol that can cause a reaction.
These products include:
- Cough medicines
- Cooking wine or vinegar
- Certain desserts
- Cologne or perfume
- Antiseptic astringent skin products
- Hair dyes
- Paint thinners, solvents, stains, and lacquers
- Waxes, dyes, resins, and gums
Check product labels carefully to see if any foods or products you use contain alcohol, and avoid these items while taking Antabuse.
You'll need frequent blood tests to check your liver function while taking this medication. Be sure to keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory.
Tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you're taking and any of the following:
- Any prescription or non-prescription drugs that might contain alcohol
- Blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin)
- Dilantin (phenytoin)
- Elavil (amitriptyline)
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.