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Antabuse (Generic Disulfiram)

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WARNING

Never administer disulfiram to a patient when they are inebriated or without their consent. Disulfiram shouldn’t be taken by the patient for at least 12 hours after drinking. After disulfiram has been withdrawn, a response could last for as long as two weeks.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Chronic alcoholism is treated with the drug disulfiram. When even little amounts of alcohol are consumed, undesirable effects result. These side effects include anxiety, flushing of the face, headaches, nausea, vomiting, chest discomfort, weakness, blurred vision, mental confusion, perspiration, coughing, and a racing heart. After alcohol intake, these effects start to manifest around 10 minutes later and continue for at least an hour. Disulfiram discourages drinking but is not an alcoholic cure.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you’re interested in using this drug for any other conditions.

How should this medicine be used?

Disulfiram is available in oral tablet form. It needs to be taken once day. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the disulfiram directions exactly. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

If the tablets are difficult for you to swallow, crush them and combine the drug with water, milk, coffee, tea, soft drinks, or fruit juice.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking disulfiram,

  • If you have an allergy to disulfiram or any other medication, tell your doctor and pharmacist very away.
  • In particular, mention amitriptyline (Elavil), anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) like warfarin (Coumadin), isoniazid, metronidazole (Flagyl), phenytoin (Dilantin), and any over-the-counter medications that might include alcohol as well as vitamins to your doctor and pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have had had kidney or liver disease, brain injury, thyroid problems, epilepsy, or diabetes.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking disulfiram.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking disulfiram if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • You should be aware that this medication might make you sleepy. Until you are certain of how this medication affects you, do not operate machinery or drive a car.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

When taking disulfiram, for several weeks after finishing the medication, when taking your first dose, and while taking any alcohol-containing medications like cough syrup and wine, refrain from drinking alcohol.

Steer clear of alcoholic foods, drinks, vinegars, and sauces.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it if you miss one. If your next dose is approaching, skip the missed one and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a second dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Side effects from disulfiram could exist. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Skin rash
  • Acne
  • A light headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Impotence
  • Garlic-like flavour or a metallic aftertaste

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Not enough energy
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Stomach pains and vomiting
  • The colour of your skin or eyes
  • Dark faeces

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor how you are responding to disulfiram, your doctor will request a few lab tests.

Always keep a card on you that states that you are taking disulfiram and lists the doctor or facility to contact in case of emergency. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to obtain an identification card if you require one.

Avoid touching or inhaling the fumes from paint, paint thinner, varnish, shellac, and other alcohol-containing products. Use cautious while applying alcohol-containing items to your skin (such as rubbing alcohol, colognes, and aftershave lotions). When used with disulfiram, these medications can result in headaches, nausea, localised redness, or itching. Apply a small amount of an alcohol-containing product to a spot on your skin and leave it there for a couple of hours before using it. You can use the product safely if there is no redness, irritation, or adverse effects.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Antabuse®
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