Antabuse Disulfiram and/or alternatives
Disulfiram is the generic name of Antabuse and it is classified as an alcohol antagonist drug. Disulfiram ranges from white to off-white colored powder that is odorless and tasteless. You can buy Antabuse tablets only with a prescription. Each Antabuse tablet contains Disulfiram 250 mg or 500 mg. The inactive ingredients in Antabuse include anhydrous lactose, colloidal silicon dioxide, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, and sodium starch glycolate.
Indications & Dosage of Antabuse
Antabuse is prescribed to help chronic alcohol patients remain sober for longer periods. Antabuse is normally prescribed along with other psychotherapeutic treatments and supportive treatments. It is not a cure for alcoholism and works by interfering with the metabolism of alcohol.
The dosage of Antabuse varies from one patient to another and should be taken at least 12 hours after alcoholic consumption. The recommended initial dose is Antabuse 500 mg daily in a single dose, and this dosage should continue for two weeks. The ideal time for taking the dose is in the morning. The average maintenance dose to be given to patients is Antabuse 250 mg daily. The maintenance dose can vary from Antabuse 125 mg to 500 mg depending on the patient’s condition and should not exceed 500 mg. The duration of the therapy depends on the patient’s condition and level of alcoholism. The therapy duration can vary from months to years.
Side Effects & Interactions of Antabuse
Antabuse can lead to mild or moderate side effects with clearly visible symptoms. Some of the side effects caused by Antabuse include:
- Feeling of tightness in the chest
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drowsiness and dizziness
- Mild to severe headache
- Stomach pain and diarrhea
- Metallic or garlic taste in mouth
- Tingling sensation in the legs or arms
- Mood changes and mental problems
- Changes in color vision
- Weakness and tiredness
- Swelling of the face or mouth
- Loss of appetite
There are some adverse effects of Antabuse and if you see the following symptoms, discontinue the treatment and inform your doctor.
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Fulminant and cholestatic hepatitis
- Hyperventilation, dyspnea, and tachycardia
- Liver cell necrosis
- Liver failure and death
- Catatonia and encephalopathy
- Cross-sensitivity to disulfiram
- Eosinophilic infiltrates and portal inflammation
- Hepatic failure
- Arrhythmias, palpitations, and chest pain
- Throbbing in the neck and head
Antabuse is known to interact with other drugs like amprenavir, tipranavir, black cohosh, lopinavir, ethanol, emtricitabine, ritonavir, sertraline, cetirizine, alprazolam, chloroquine, warfarin, crizotinib, dapsone, etoposide, fosphenytoin, paclitaxel, pitavastatin, and oxtriphylline among others. It is important to tell your doctor about all medications that you are currently taking.
Warnings & Precautions of Antabuse
Disulfiram is known to cause harm to the fetus and it is advised that you not buy Antabuse without consulting your doctor during pregnancy. Clinical studies of animals have revealed severe malformations as well as fetal alcohol syndrome. There is data available that supports the excretion of Disulfiram through breast milk and as such, most doctors’ ask breastfeeding mothers to avoid Antabuse during breastfeeding.
You need to discuss your medical history with the doctor prior to administration of Antabuse. You need to inform your doctor if you have undergone surgery or if you:
- Are suffering from kidney or liver disease
- Are suffering from thyroid disease
- Have a history of mental disorders
- Have a history of epilepsy
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