- Brand Name: Antabuse;
- Active Ingredient: Disulfiram;
- Manufacturer: PLIVA.
Antabuse and its active substance Disulfiram
Disulfiram is the active ingredient, which was used to create the original Antabuse medication. Unlike other drugs that help people stay sober, Disulfiram does not affect receptors of the brain. The drug affects how alcohol and the substances that are formed from it are metabolized in the human body.
Here's what happens when you use Antabuse with alcohol:
- As before, alcohol is broken down in the body with the formation of acetaldehyde (the toxic substance responsible for hangover);
- Acetaldehyde stops being oxidized, which leads to the accumulation of this toxin in the body.
About 10 minutes after drinking alcohol, severe intoxication occurs, which is accompanied by unpleasant sensations, such as:
- Hot flushes;
- Labored respiration;
- Abdominal discomfort;
- Limb numbness;
- Involuntary stomach emptying;
- Skin redness (usually on the face, arms, and chest);
- Increased heartbeat;
- Sudden fainting;
- Feeling of energy lack;
- Excessive sweating (in certain areas of the body);
- Feeling of throat constriction and irritation.
Remember that Antabuse tablets act exactly as a deterrent. Until ethyl alcohol gets in the body, you usually will not feel the effect of the medicine.
Indications for use
Antabuse makes it possible to speed up the recovery of patients suffering from mild, moderate or severe alcohol dependence.
Depending on the specific case, maintenance therapy may be required for months or even years.
This drug should not be prescribed or given to patients without informing them.
Where to buy Antabuse? Possible options
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Treatment regimens and dosages
Antabuse is available in tablets for oral intake. If you want to buy Antabuse, you will see that the drug is available in 2 dosages:
- Antabuse 250 mg tablets;
- Antabuse 500 mg tablets.
Your doctor will advise the dosage you need. This drug is used once a day, usually in the morning. If drowsiness occurs during treatment, the pills can be taken in the evening.
Conventionally, treatment consists of 2 phases. As a rule, in the first phase of therapy it is recommended:
- To use the highest possible dose of 500 mg to better deal with any urge to drink;
- To continue taking the dose of 500 mg for 1–2 weeks to maintain the effect of the treatment.
Depending on the effectiveness and progress of treatment in the second maintenance phase of treatment, it may be recommended:
- To use the standard dose of 250 mg;
- To continue using the maximum dose of 500 mg;
- To reduce the dose to 125 mg.
The duration of treatment with Antabuse is individual, usually it lasts until the patient begins to fully control the maintenance of sobriety.
Recommendations for use
To ensure the maximum benefit of alcoholism treatment and feel better, patients should follow the tips below:
- Take the pills whole with a full glass of water before or after meals;
- Take the tablets at the same time every day;
- Tell your doctor if you feel better or worse.
Do not take the first dose if you drank alcohol in the last 24 hours or until your blood alcohol level reaches zero. This can result in dangerous interactions.
If you experience too many side effects, you can divide your daily dose of Antabuse in two parts: one part in the morning and one part in the late afternoon or early evening.
Avoid missing doses or taking double doses. If you use the standard dosage regimen (once a day) and you forget to take a dose, skip it if your next dose is 12 hours or less away.
There are several medical reasons why Antabuse should not be used or should be taken with caution, including:
- Epileptic seizures;
- Vascular brain diseases;
- Impaired kidney function;
- Liver failure;
- Chronically high blood sugar;
- Low thyroid hormone production.
Do not take Antabuse, if:
- You are allergic to Disulfiram;
- You keep drinking;
- You have hypertension;
- You have a severe personality disorder.
Alcohol and drugs containing alcohol should be avoided until the drug is completely eliminated from the patient body. Driving a car and operating machinery can be dangerous due to the risk of drowsiness.
Use of Antabuse during pregnancy
Pregnant women should not take this medicine as there is a risk of harm to the health of the future mother or her baby. The pharmacological action of Disulfiram on the embryo and fetus remains unexplored.
Possible side effects
The tablets containing Disulfiram may cause side effects and may not be suitable for everyone. Before you buy and use Antabuse, it is advisable to find out about the side effects that the medicine may cause, so that you can take appropriate actions, if they occur.
The most common adverse reactions during treatment are as follows:
- Depressed mood;
- Strong irritability;
- Problems with getting and maintaining an erection;
- Tingling in the limbs;
- Muscle weakness;
- Increased daytime sleepiness;
- Change in pupillary response to light;
- Stomach discomfort and reluctance to eat;
- Numbness of fingers, hands, feet and other parts of the body.
The risk of adverse reactions should not be taken lightly. Some of them, such as allergies, can be serious, but most are temporary and minor.
Disulfiram: interaction with other drugs
There is a number of medicines that can potentially interact with Antabuse. This interaction does not always mean that it harms your health. In most cases, the result of the interaction is a small change in the effectiveness of one of the drugs.
Disulfiram may interfere with the pharmacokinetic properties of many drugs (for example, Warfarin or Theophylline), which are metabolized by liver enzymes. If you take theses medicines, their therapeutic effect on the body may increase. In this case, you need to adjust the dosage. Usually, a single dose or intake frequency of medications used with Antabuse are reduced.
Some drugs are worth attention regarding their interactions with Antabuse:
- Certain tricyclic antidepressants (for example, Amitriptyline) increase the disulfiram-ethanol reaction;
- Muscle relaxants, sedatives, anxiolytics, anticonvulsants, hypnotics, and benzodiazepines can reduce unpleasant disulfiram-ethanol reactions;
- Medications that affect the regulation of blood pressure;
- The elimination rate of Rifampicin used to treat tuberculosis and certain mycobacterial infections may change when interacting with Antabuse.
This is not a complete list. Other drugs and substances may also cause interactions. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any other medicines or herbal supplements.
Take note that drugs containing Disulfiram can interact even with a small amount of ethyl alcohol. So, during treatment, it is necessary to abandon the use of any medicines containing alcohol, such as cough syrups.
The manufacturer of Antabuse does not recommend splitting the tablets, and we do not recommend it either. If you still do this, try to use the halves of the tablets as soon as possible so that they do not lose their properties.
Exposure to light, moisture, heat and air can damage the medicine. Store Antabuse in the original packaging in a dry place at room temperature between 20°C and 25°C.
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