Do you want to treat alcoholism? Then you should find out more about the benefits offered by Antabuse because this medication is often taken for this purpose nowadays. Basically, it works by affecting the process of breaking down alcohol by your body. If you combine this medicine and this substance, you will end up with a number of unpleasant side effects, and they help you remove the urge to drink.
If you want to get the most out of taking Antabuse, make sure that you combine it with other methods, including supportive care. It’s not allowed to use it if you’re intoxicated or without your full understanding. You should be well-informed about possible reactions and stay away from alcohol while taking this drug, including such products as aftershave lotions, cough mixtures, etc.
Antabuse may cause an unpleasant reaction with this substance up to 2 weeks after its intake. Besides, if you have such medical conditions as epilepsy, diabetes, nephritis and some others, you should be careful while taking this medication. For patients who have heart problems and allergies to its active ingredient, its use is not allowed.
Available Forms and Doses
If you’re interested in this medicine, the main choice that should be made is whether you prefer its brand or generic form. Antabuse is a brand version, while Disulfiram is the generic ones, but they both contain the same active ingredient (disulfiram), and the key different is in their prices. When it comes to brand medication, its price is much higher because of huge marketing and monopoly expenses included in it.
Antabuse is available as standard pills in 2 basic strengths, 500 mg and 250 mg. What about the right dosage? Keep in mind that you can’t start this treatment unless you stopped consuming alcohol at least 12 hours ago. Most doctors prescribe 500 mg initial dose that must be taken on a daily basis during one or two weeks. After 2 weeks of this treatment, don’t forget about your maintenance dose, which is 125 mg – 500 mg used every day. This means that the average maintenance dosage of most patients is 250 mg given each day, and this treatment should be continued until they develop enough self-control.
List of Possible Adverse Effects
When both generic and brand versions of Antabuse are combined with alcohol, you will experience a set of unpleasant side effects. The most common ones include vomiting, thirst, nausea, sweating, flushing, dizziness, fainting, headaches, changes in vision, confusion, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat and so on.
Other side effects that can be experienced by those patients who undergo this kind of treatment include drowsiness, tiredness, skin rash, acne, swollen mouth, etc. Take into account some serious reactions that may develop after taking Antabuse, including hepatitis, mental disorders, polyneuritis and others.
How It Works
When you drink, the body starts converting alcohol into acetaldehyde, acetate, and then water and carbon dioxide. This substance is quite toxic and has carcinogenic effects, and that’s why you feel hang-over pain after drinking. When taking Antabuse when drinking alcohol, you interrupt this process at the first stage while feeling side effects that make you avoid this unhealthy habit.
Important Drug Interactions
You should understand that this medication should be taken carefully to avoid possible interactions with some other drugs. For instance, its active ingredient may increase the effects of warfarin, so that you may end up with bleeding. Don’t combine Antabuse with isoniazid if you don’t want to end up with major mental changes. It’s advisable to avoid its combination with Dilantin because its blood levels can be increased. Make a list of all other meds and supplements that you’re taking before starting this treatment.