Antabuse

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Disulfiram is an alcohol antagonist drug.

Chemical Name: bis(diethylthiocarbamoyl) disulfide.

Structural Formula:

ANTABUSE (Disulfiram ) structural formula illustration

C10H20N2S4 M.W. 296.54

Disulfiram occurs as a white to off-white, odorless, and almost tasteless powder, soluble in water to the extent of about 20 mg in 100 mL, and in alcohol to the extent of about 3.8 g in 100 mL.

Each tablet for oral administration contains 250 mg or 500 mg disulfiram, USP. Tablets also contain colloidal silicon dioxide, anhydrous lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, and stearic acid.

What are the possible side effects of disulfiram (Antabuse)?

Severe and sometimes fatal liver problems have occurred in patients taking disulfiram even without a prior history of liver problems.

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking disulfiram and seek emergency medical attention:

  • an allergic reaction (swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; shortness of breath; closing of your throat; or hives);
  • seizures;
  • extreme tiredness;
  • dark urine;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice);
  • large appetite...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Antabuse

What are the precautions when taking disulfiram (Antabuse)?

Before taking disulfiram, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to thiuram or thiuram-related chemicals (found in pesticides and rubber); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe heart/blood vessel disease (e.g., coronary artery disease), certain mental/mood condition (psychosis).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), brain disorders (e.g., seizures,...

Read All Potential Precautions of Antabuse


Antabuse Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Drowsiness, tiredness, headache, acne, and metallic/garlic-like taste in the mouth may occur as your body gets used to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: decreased sexual ability, vision changes, numbness/tingling of arms/legs, muscle weakness, mental/mood changes (e.g. agitation, extreme excitement/confusion), seizures, confusion.

This drug may infrequently cause serious (rarely fatal) liver disease. If you notice any of the following unlikely but very serious side effects, tell your doctor immediately: persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking disulfiram, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to thiuram or thiuram-related chemicals (found in pesticides and rubber); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe heart/blood vessel disease (e.g., coronary artery disease), certain mental/mood condition (psychosis).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), brain disorders (e.g., seizures, brain damage), kidney disease, liver disease, personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs.

Avoid all alcoholic beverages or alcohol-containing products/foods (e.g., cough and cold syrups, mouthwash, aftershave, sauces, vinegars) while taking this medication and for 2 weeks after stopping the medication. Check all product labels carefully to make sure that there is no alcohol in the product. Using alcohol, even a small amount, while taking this medication can lead to a reaction that may include flushing, throbbing headache, breathing problems (e.g., shortness of breath, fast breathing), nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme tiredness, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, or blurred vision. These symptoms can last from 30 minutes to several hours. Tell your doctor immediately if these symptoms occur, especially if they persist or worsen.

A more serious reaction with this medication and alcohol may include trouble breathing, seizures, loss of consciousness, chest/jaw/left arm pain. Seek immediate medical attention if you have these symptoms.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Antabuse Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Antabuse

Generic Name: disulfiram (Pronunciation: die sul FER am)

  • What is disulfiram (Antabuse)?
  • What are the possible side effects of disulfiram (Antabuse)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about disulfiram (Antabuse)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking disulfiram (Antabuse)?
  • How should I take disulfiram (Antabuse)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Antabuse)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Antabuse)?
  • What should I avoid while taking disulfiram (Antabuse)?
  • What other drugs will affect disulfiram (Antabuse)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is disulfiram (Antabuse)?

Disulfiram interferes with the metabolism of alcohol resulting in unpleasant effects when alcohol is consumed.

Disulfiram is used to treat chronic alcoholism.

Disulfiram may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of disulfiram (Antabuse)?

Severe and sometimes fatal liver problems have occurred in patients taking disulfiram even without a prior history of liver problems.

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking disulfiram and seek emergency medical attention:

  • an allergic reaction (swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; shortness of breath; closing of your throat; or hives);
  • seizures;
  • extreme tiredness;
  • dark urine;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice);
  • large appetite changes;
  • weakness, dizziness or loss of coordination; or
  • severe diarrhea or vomiting.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take disulfiram and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • skin rash or acne;
  • mild headaches;
  • mild drowsiness or tiredness;
  • impotence;
  • metallic taste in the mouth; or
  • swollen or sore tongue.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about disulfiram (Antabuse)?

Do not drink alcohol while taking disulfiram. Flushing, fast heartbeats, nausea, thirst, chest pain, vertigo, and low blood pressure may occur when alcohol is ingested during disulfiram therapy.

Do not take disulfiram for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol.

Reactions may occur from drinking alcohol for several weeks after you have stopped taking disulfiram.

Be aware of the alcohol content of other common products such as cough and cold medicines, mouth washes, tonics, sauces, vinegars, and other food products. Alcohol in these products can also cause a reaction.

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