Disulfiram is a prescription medication generally used to treat chronic alcohol use disorder. It is prescribed not to take any alcoholic beverages while taking Disulfiram. This is an alcohol antagonist drug or opposite any alcoholic substances.
Disulfiram drug creates sensitivity to alcohol and causes an unpleasant and annoying reaction when alcohol is consumed. Symptoms those are caused by Disulfiram-alcohol reaction include flushing, the throbbing of head and neck, palpitation of a headache, respiratory difficulty, nausea, copious vomiting, shortness of breath, hyperventilation, decreased blood pressure, uneasiness, vertigo, blurred vision, and confusion.
Disulfiram for Alcohol Treatment
The brand name under which Disulfiram is sold called Antabuse. It was the first medication prescribed for the treatment of alcohol use disorders in the United States. It is currently being used by more than 200,000 Americans over the last 65 years to help maintain sobriety.
Disulfiram medication is purposefully used as a part of a comprehensive recovery plan rather than used for only alcohol abuse disorders. These plans usually incorporate some well-structured programs like:
• Inpatient rehabilitation
• Outpatient rehabilitation
• Individual or family recommended sessions
• Addiction specific therapies
• Support group meeting
Proper Use of Disulfiram
It is a prescribed medication and always recommended to be taken under the physician’s supervision. It is advisable to be made after the initial period of withdrawal and detox program is attended. It should be consumed only after the abstinence from alcohol for at least 12 hours or has a blood level of zero. On average, the starting dose of Disulfiram contains 250 milligrams once in a day for 1-2 weeks. It could be followed with 250 milligrams of maintenance dose per day after that. However, it could range from 125 to 500 milligrams per day depending upon an individual’s requirement.
Disulfiram could create an unforeseen incident if an individual is not sufficiently educated, so the physician should administer it after performing a physical exam, baseline liver, and kidney tests. According to some studies, to make the Disulfiram more effective and result-oriented, it should be taken in conjunction with other alcoholic medication, especially Acamprosate.
An individual should be compliant with treatment guidelines and should be committed to sobriety, to make it more effective. People should never use a double dose of Disulfiram, and if a dose is skipped, it may be okay. A patient should take care of some products like paint thinner, varnish, inhale fumes of paint, and similar products. Disulfiram could react with aftershave lotions, colognes, and rubbing alcohol, so it should be taken care of.
How Does Disulfiram Work?
What makes Disulfiram different from other medication is that it does not affect the brain’s receptors. It depends on an individual’s body, how it was broke and eliminates alcohol from your system. The person body starts converting alcohol into acetaldehyde. This toxic substance creates adverse side effects related to hangovers. When Disulfiram is consumed, it blocks the oxidation process and further creating acetaldehyde and reduces these effects. It increases the level of acetaldehyde in the bloodstream.
When a high level of acetaldehyde is produced in the bloodstream, it creates the feeling similar to a hangover. This reaction intended to help people stop drinking. This commotion could be felt within 30 minutes of taking an alcoholic substance after taking Disulfiram drug.
Side Effects of Disulfiram
Despite its many benefits for treating alcoholism, this medication probably creates some adverse and unforeseen side effects in a few patients. This medication has comparatively very few and minor side effects. These side effects will lessen or disappear within a few weeks.
The most common side effects of Disulfiram incorporate:
• Drowsiness, immobility or paralysis
• Metallic taste
• A headache and irritation
• Sexual dysfunction
• Acne, pimples, and whiteheads
There is the possibility of some less common, but more severe side effects of Disulfiram comprise:
• Loss of appetite
• Yellowing of skin and eye
• Liver toxicity, disease, and failure
• Optic neuritis
• Peripheral neuritis
• Psychosis, alienation, and dementia
• Delirium, madness, and insanity
• Hypersensitivity to the drug
In some of the rare cases, sedative effects may be caused after using this drug. In this case, it is advisable to consult the health care provider about the medication side-effects within a day.
Mixing of Disulfiram with Foods or Products Containing Alcohol
It is recommended or prescribed not to consume foods or any products that contain alcohol or any drug substance. To avoid any of the adverse effects, be careful before consuming any diet or new product containing alcoholic materials like:
• Cough Medicine
• Perfume, cologne or aftershave
• Cooking wine or vinegar
• Hair dye
Benefits of Disulfiram
• When a person consumes alcohol, helps them to stop drinking by creating adverse reactions.
• Useful, result-oriented experiment, and prolonged use of this drug are successfully documented.
• Make it a successful deterrent even for a mild drinker if a minuscule amount of alcohol is consumed.
• Comparatively very few side effects.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]