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Antabuse side effects

Antabuse, the brand name for disulfiram, is a medication used to treat alcoholism. It blocks the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol. Users are deterred from drinking because of the very unpleasant side effects created when this drug is consumed with alcohol. But people who take this medication should be aware that there is a difference between the intended Antabuse side effects and unwanted side effects.

3 Minute Read | Published Jul 26 2023 | Updated Feb 27 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
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Dameisha Gibson
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Emma Collins
Written by
Dameisha Gibson
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What are the side effects of Antabuse? If you drink while using this medication, you may experience:

  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushed face
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blurred vision

Those taking this medication should remember that alcohol can be found in products other than beverages. To avoid the side effects of Antabuse medication, those using it should remember to check for alcohol in mouthwash, perfumes, aftershaves, cooking wine, cough medicines, antiperspirants, paint thinners, and hair dye. There is enough alcohol in some of these products, even if they are not ingested, to possibly trigger side effects. Antabuse can be fatally dangerous to take while in a drunken state. Alcohol should be completely avoided while a person is taking this medication.

Unexpected Antabuse side effects may include:

  • Eye pain
  • Mood changes
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Darkened urine

A person should seek medical attention if they experience these side effects.

An Antabuse overdose is an emergency situation. The symptoms can include vomiting, anaphylaxis, drowsiness, and loss of coordination and consciousness. If you suspect an overdose, get emergency medical help immediately. Problematic side effects of Antabuse that necessitate immediate treatment can also occur in those who have liver disease, heart disease, epilepsy, a mental illness, medication allergies, high blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid disease.

Find a Rehab for Alcohol Addiction

There are many different paths one can take to recover from alcohol addiction. The use of Antabuse is just one technique; there are also other medications that can aid in the recovery process as well as many other behavioral and medical treatments. Antabuse can react dangerously with other medications, so one should use this medication under close medical supervision.

Choosing to seek recovery from alcohol addiction at a rehab is the safest and most comfortable option available. A trained medical staff will be able to supervise the detoxification process and withdrawal symptoms, then provide therapy for the psychological symptoms of addiction.

It can be difficult to know where to seek an addiction rehab center that is a good fit for you, but BetterAddictionCare is here to help. Contact our compassionate client care specialists to create a customized plan for recovery at a cost-effective rehab center near you. BetterAddictionCare will help you find the addiction counseling services that are best for you so you can get sober and start healing. Call today or fill out our contact form.

Resources

bullet U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2020).
"Antabuse (Disulfiram): Label Information."
Retrieved on September 09, 2020
bullet National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2015).
"Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help."
Retrieved on September 09, 2020
bullet Mayo Clinic. (2021)
"Disulfiram (Oral Route) – Side Effects."
Retrieved on September 09, 2020
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2009).
"Medication for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Brief Guide."
Retrieved on September 09, 2020
bullet Gaval-Cruz, M., Weinshenker, D. (2009).
"Mechanisms of disulfiram-induced cocaine abstinence: Antabuse and cocaine relapse. Molecular Interventions, 9(4), 175-187."
Retrieved on September 09, 2020
bullet National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2021).
"Disulfiram."
Retrieved on September 09, 2020
bullet Johnson, B. A. (2008).
"Medication Treatment of Different Types of Alcoholism. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 165(3), 309-315."
Retrieved on September 09, 2020
bullet Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2009).
"Incorporating Alcohol Pharmacotherapies into Medical Practice."
Retrieved on September 09, 2020
bullet Suh, J. J., Pettinati, H. M., Kampman, K. M., & O’Brien, C. P. (2006).
"The status of disulfiram: A half of a century later. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 26(3), 290-302."
Retrieved on September 09, 2020
bullet Palatnick, W., Meatherall, R., Tenenbein, M. (2002).
"Clinical utility of disulfiram treatment for cocaine dependence in methadone-maintained patients: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 22(6), 592-597."
Retrieved on September 09, 2020
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