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Using Antabuse (Disulfiram) to Treat Alcoholism

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People who need care for their alcohol misuse sometimes receive doses of Antabuse, or disulfiram, to treat their addiction. Antabuse for alcohol addiction has become a popular choice as it is an effective way of managing and preventing relapse.Woman taking Antabuse to treat alcohol addiction

If you are interested in Antabuse for alcoholism treatment, Vertava Health’s alcohol rehab center may be able to help.

Understanding Antabuse for Alcohol Addiction

Antabuse for alcohol addiction, also known as disulfiram, is a drug used to manage and prevent relapse in individuals struggling with alcohol misuse. When you take Antabuse, your body will be unable to process alcohol, and you will suffer from negative side effects. The idea here is to make drinking impossible and force a person away from the substance. It’s a kind of behavioral adjustment technique, one that associates alcohol use with negative emotions and sensations rather than positive ones.

Many people associate drinking with positive behavioral rewards. Antabuse is designed to break that positive mindset by creating an unpleasant and physically repulsive feeling when you drink.

Antabuse is not designed as a cure and must be paired with other treatment methods, such as psychological assessment and physical health treatments. A person taking Antabuse must also make a serious commitment to quitting and must take their Antabuse regularly for it to continue working. There are several important considerations you must make when using this medicine:

  • Avoid using mouthwash, cough medicine, and any other substance that has alcohol
  • Wait at least 12 hours after your last drink before taking Antabuse, and don’t drink for at least two weeks after your last dosage of Antabuse
  • Don’t take Antabuse if you suffer from liver disease, kidney problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, seizures if you have a history of psychosis or an allergy to rubber
  • Never pair Antabuse with tuberculosis medicine or blood thinners
  • Pregnant women shouldn’t take Antabuse
  • Children under the age of 18 should not take Antabuse

These concerns, as well as the effects caused by Antabuse, make it only appropriate for extreme cases of alcohol addiction. People who have a mild alcohol use disorder or who binge drink but are not addicted should stay away from Antabuse. It is typically only used in cases when a person has failed all other treatment methods and needs something stronger to help them stay sober.

Effects of Disulfiram for Alcohol Addiction

When you take Antabuse, you aren’t going to feel anything from it until you drink alcohol. At that point, a series of effects will take place that will be very uncomfortable. It may take up to 30 minutes for these symptoms to occur, but when they do, you’ll know it. The effects will vary depending on how much alcohol you consume. Drinking five to 10 milligrams of alcohol will cause mild effects, and at 50 milligrams, you’ll experience the full effects of the medication.

Unfortunately, if you are to drink 125 to 150 milligrams of alcohol during that half-hour period, you are likely to fall into an unconscious state. Thankfully, it’s highly unlikely that a person on Antabuse will be able to consume such high levels of alcohol quickly. However, it is important to understand the potential for this type of negative reaction. A better understanding of proper Antabuse dosage has also made severe effects like unconsciousness increasingly unlikely.

Effects you are likely to feel when drinking alcohol while taking Antabuse to include:

  • Sweating
  • The flushed skin on the chest and face
  • Pain in the back and neck
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Temporary vision problems (blurring)
  • Racing heart
  • Excessive thirst
  • Bad breath
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety

Typically, one adverse reaction to alcohol and Antabuse will be generated in you to give you an idea of what to expect. It will be done in a controlled environment and with a very small dosage. Even this will likely cause many of the symptoms mentioned above, giving you a view of what will happen should you decide to drink while on Antabuse. This might seem scary, but it is often necessary in extreme addiction cases.

Discover Antabuse for Alcoholism Treatment at Vertava Health

Antabuse is a substance that can help many people beat addiction. That said, it’s not appropriate for all people. Please talk to your doctor before taking this medicine and any other replacement treatments during your rehabilitation. They will screen you to ensure that your body can handle it.

Please get in touch with Vertava Health today at 844.470.0410 to learn more about Antabuse for alcohol addiction. Our experts are waiting to help you learn what you need to know about beating addiction and regaining a sober lifestyle. Help is just a phone call or an email away, and we know we can assist you in achieving your dreams.