Antabuse is used for treating alcoholism. Antabuse is an alcohol-abuse deterrent. It works by blocking the breakdown of alcohol, causing unpleasant side effects (eg, vomiting, upset stomach) when even a small amount of alcohol is consumed.
Use Antabuse as directed by your doctor.
- Antabuse may be taken with or without food.
- Antabuse may be swallowed whole, chewed, or crushed and mixed with food.
- Do not take the first dose of Antabuse for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol.
- If you miss a dose of Antabuse, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Antabuse.
Store Antabuse at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Antabuse out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Active Ingredient: Disulfiram.
Do NOT use Antabuse if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Antabuse or other similar medicines
- you are under the influence of alcohol
- you have severe heart disease, a blockage of your heart arteries, or a mental disorder (eg, psychosis)
- you are taking metronidazole or an alcohol-containing medicine (eg, certain HIV protease inhibitors [eg, amprenavir], cough syrups, other liquid medicines).
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Some medical conditions may interact with Antabuse. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances (eg, latex rubber)
- if you have brain damage, diabetes, heart or lung disease, mental or mood problems (eg, depression), an underactive thyroid, seizures, or liver or kidney problems.
Some medicines may interact with Antabuse. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Alcohol-containing medicines (eg, certain HIV protease inhibitors [eg, amprenavir], cough syrups, other liquid medicines) or metronidazole because the risk of severe side effects may be increased
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), benzodiazepines (eg, diazepam), isoniazid, or phenytoin because side effects may be increased by Antabuse.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Antabuse may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Important safety information:
- Antabuse may cause drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Antabuse. Using Antabuse alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
- Avoid all alcohol including alcohol found in sauces, vinegar, mouthwash, liquid medicines, lotions, after shave, or backrub products. A reaction to alcohol may cause flushing, nausea, thirst, abdominal pain, chest pain, dizziness, vomiting, fast breathing, fast heartbeat, fainting, difficulty breathing, or confusion. Use caution when using topical products containing alcohol, such as cologne or perfume. Before using alcohol-containing products on the skin, test the product by applying some to a small area of the skin. If no redness, itching, headache, or nausea occurs after 1 or 2 hours, you should be able to use the product. You may have a reaction if you drink alcohol or use a product that contains alcohol for 2 weeks after your last dose of Antabuse.
- Notify your doctor immediately if you experience yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, weakness, tiredness, loss of appetite, or nausea and vomiting. These may be signs of a liver problem.
- Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Antabuse.
- Lab tests, including liver function tests and complete blood cell counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Antabuse during pregnancy. It is unknown if Antabuse is excreted in breast milk. Do not breastfeed while taking Antabuse.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Drowsiness; headache; metallic or garlic taste in mouth.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; changes in color vision; dark urine; loss of appetite; mental or mood problems; nausea; numbness or tingling of the arms or legs; seizures; tiredness; vomiting; weakness; yellowing of the eyes or skin.