This medication is used along with counseling and support to treat alcoholism. Disulfiram works by blocking the processing of alcohol in the body. This causes you to have a bad reaction when you drink alcohol.
How to use Disulfiram
See also Precautions section.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
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 last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: decreased sexual ability, vision changes, numbness/tingling of arms/legs, muscle weakness, mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, extreme excitement), seizures.
This drug may rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) liver disease. If you notice any of the following serious side effects, tell your doctor right away: nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away 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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
This medication should not be given to a patient without their knowledge. Do not take this medication if you are under the influence of alcohol or have drunk alcohol in the last 12 hours.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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.
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.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart/blood vessel disease (such as coronary artery disease), mental/mood disorders, diabetes, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), brain disorders (such as 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 (such as 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 (such as 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 right away if these symptoms occur, especially if they last or get worse.
A more serious reaction with this medication and alcohol may include trouble breathing, seizures, loss of consciousness, chest/jaw/left arm pain. Get medical help right away 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.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug are: alcohol-containing products (such as cough and cold syrups, aftershave), amitriptyline, benznidazole, "blood thinners" (such as warfarin), certain medications for seizures (including hydantoins such as phenytoin/fosphenytoin), fezolinetant, isoniazid, metronidazole, theophylline, tinidazole.
This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as urine VMA/HVA tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: vomiting, drowsiness, loss of coordination, loss of consciousness.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as liver function, complete blood count) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
It is recommended that you carry an identification card stating that you are taking this medication and describing the possible reaction that may occur if you consume alcohol.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.