Never give disulfiram to a patient in a state of alcohol intoxication or without the patient's full knowledge. The patient should not take disulfiram for at least 12 hours after drinking. A reaction may occur for up to 2 weeks after disulfiram has been stopped. It causes unpleasant effects when even small amounts of alcohol are consumed. These effects include flushing of the face, headache, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, weakness, blurred vision, mental confusion, sweating, choking, breathing difficulty, and anxiety. These effects begin about 10 minutes after alcohol enters the body and last for 1 hour or more. Disulfiram is not a cure for alcoholism, but discourages drinking. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. If you cannot swallow the tablets, crush them and mix the medication with water, coffee, tea, milk, soft drink, or fruit juice. Disulfiram (sold under the trade names Antabuse and Antabus) is a drug used to support the treatment of chronic alcoholism by producing an acute sensitivity to ethanol (drinking alcohol). Disulfiram works by inhibiting the enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, which means that many of the effects of a "hangover" are felt immediately after alcohol is consumed. "Disulfiram plus alcohol, even small amounts, produce flushing, throbbing in head and neck, throbbing headache, respiratory difficulty, nausea, copious vomiting, sweating, thirst, chest pain, palpitation, dyspnea, hyperventilation, tachycardia, hypotension, syncope, marked uneasiness, weakness, vertigo, blurred vision, and confusion. In severe reactions there may be respiratory depression, cardiovascular collapse, arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, acute congestive heart failure, unconsciousness, convulsions, and death." In the body, alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde, which is then broken down by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. If the dehydrogenase enzyme is inhibited, acetaldehyde builds up and causes unpleasant effects. Disulfiram should be used in conjunction with counseling and support. Disulfiram has been studied as a possible treatment for cancer Under normal metabolism, alcohol is broken down in the liver by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase to acetaldehyde, which is then converted by the enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase to a harmless acetic acid derivative (acetyl coenzyme A).
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST. Get the latest updates and news on prescription drugs. When alcohol is ingested after administration of disulfiram, blood acetaldehyde. All Drugs; Approved; Vet approved; Nutraceutical; Illicit; Withdrawn.