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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Antabuse

Generic Name: disulfiram (Pronunciation: die sul FER am)

What is disulfiram (Antabuse)?

Disulfiram interferes with the metabolism of alcohol resulting in unpleasant effects when alcohol is consumed.

Disulfiram is used to treat chronic alcoholism.

Disulfiram may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Antabuse 250 mg

octagonal, white, imprinted with ANTABUSE 250, A

Disulfiram 250 mg-SID

round, white, imprinted with SL 331

What are the possible side effects of disulfiram (Antabuse)?

Severe and sometimes fatal liver problems have occurred in patients taking disulfiram even without a prior history of liver problems.

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking disulfiram and seek emergency medical attention:

  • an allergic reaction (swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; shortness of breath; closing of your throat; or hives);
  • seizures;
  • extreme tiredness;
  • dark urine;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice);
  • large appetite changes;
  • weakness, dizziness or loss of coordination; or
  • severe diarrhea or vomiting.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take disulfiram and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • skin rash or acne;
  • mild headaches;
  • mild drowsiness or tiredness;
  • impotence;
  • metallic taste in the mouth; or
  • swollen or sore tongue.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about disulfiram (Antabuse)?

Do not drink alcohol while taking disulfiram. Flushing, fast heartbeats, nausea, thirst, chest pain, vertigo, and low blood pressure may occur when alcohol is ingested during disulfiram therapy.

Do not take disulfiram for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol.

Reactions may occur from drinking alcohol for several weeks after you have stopped taking disulfiram.

Be aware of the alcohol content of other common products such as cough and cold medicines, mouth washes, tonics, sauces, vinegars, and other food products. Alcohol in these products can also cause a reaction.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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