Drugs A - Z

Disulfiram Oral tablet

When taken with alcohol, this medicine produces unpleasant effects

Generic Name: disulfiram  |  Brand Name: Antabuse

Brand Names: Antabuse

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

What is this medicine?

DISULFIRAM (dye SUL fi ram) can help patients with an alcohol abuse problem not to drink alcohol. When taken with alcohol, this medicine produces unpleasant effects. This medicine is part of a recovery program that includes medical supervision and counseling. It is not a cure.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
  • brain damage
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • psychotic disease
  • recently exposure to alcohol or any product that contains alcohol
  • seizures
  • taking metronidazole or paraldehyde
  • under-active thyroid
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to disulfiram, pesticides or rubber products, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You must never take this medicine within 12 hours of taking any alcohol. The tablets can be crushed and mixed with liquid before taking. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • alcohol or any product that contains alcohol
  • amprenavir
  • cocaine
  • lopinavir; ritonavir
  • metronidazole
  • oral solutions of ritonavir or sertraline
  • paclitaxel
  • paraldehyde
  • tranylcypromine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • isoniazid
  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
  • phenytoin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.

Never take this medicine if you have been drinking alcohol. Make sure that family members or others in your household know about this medicine and what to do in an emergency. When this medicine is taken with even small amounts of alcohol, it will produce very unpleasant effects. You may get a throbbing headache, flushing, vomiting, weakness and chest pain. Breathing and heart problems, seizures and death can occur. This medicine can react with alcohol even 14 days after you take your last dose.

Never take products or use toiletries that contain alcohol. Always read labels carefully. Many cough syrups, liquid pain medications, tonics, mouthwashes, after shave lotions, colognes, liniments, vinegar's, and sauces contain alcohol.

Wear a medical identification bracelet or chain to say you are taking this medicine. Carry an identification card with your name, name and dose of medicine being used, and name and phone number of your doctor and/or person to contact in an emergency.


Last Updated: April 09, 2009
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