Disulfiram (Antabuse) is a drug which acts as useful way to stop further drinking when taken by mouth.
Disulfiram is still the best alternative as a treatment for alcohol dependence. Studies have revealed that patients with alcohol dependence have been treated successfully in a manner that is superior to naltrexone and acamprosate. It is also very useful in those patients who have co-morbid cocaine and alcohol dependence
It is a medicine which is used as a conditioning treatment for alcohol dependence. If taken while consuming alcohol, disulfiram results in many unpleasant effects.
The initial dose can be as 500 mg taken once daily, the dose can be administered in the evening, if the medication is sedating. Ideally the daily dose should be taken in the morning
Side Effects: The side effects of the drug include amongst others generalized flushing, headache, dyspnoea, malaise, vomiting, palpitations, hypotension and tachycardia are also present. Cardiovascular collapse can result in complicated reactions; fatalities have occurred in exceptional instances, this is why their possibility must be explained to the patient before prescribing the drug. However, it is a drug which is not too severe. If however, alcohol is taken a reaction does not ensue it is appropriate to raise the daily dose of disulfiram to 400mg.
It is without alcohol also that the side-effects from disulfiram can develop. If the patient faces serious side effects, it requires the immediate cessation of the drug. These side effects include amongst others convulsions, peripheral neuritis or psychosis; they are rare. Some of the common side-effects are nausea, drowsiness, depression, anorexia, headaches and impotence. Drowsiness is caused when the patient takes the drug at night; a change of medication can be made to citrated calcium carbimide if one of the other effects is persistent (Abstem), in a dose of one or two 50 mg tablets daily.
One of the main difficulties is that of gaining patient compliance with oral deterrents against drinking. Alcoholics who have been asked to take disulfiram may not start the medication; the more frequently stop it prematurely.
Because of the widespread devastating consequences of alcohol abuse many non-pharmaceutical and pharmacological interventions has been developed so as to control alcohol-related problems. An old pharmacological agents used for this purpose is disulfiram.
Its origin dates back to the 1800s, when it was first used in the manufacturing process of rubber. It was in 1937 that the use for containing the effects from alcohol consumption was discovered. This took place when a chemical plant physician by the name of Williams reported the unpleasant symptoms that were seen in the disulfiram-exposed workers after they had consumed alcohol.
How it works
The drug works by creating an acute reaction after alcohol intake. It helps to block the enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase resulting in a metabolic build-up of acetaldehyde thereby resulting in many different kinds of symptoms that are unpleasant after alcohol consumption which is more commonly known as the Disulfiram-Ethanol Reaction (DER). A person cannot bear the physical discomfort. This is when a person experiences these symptoms; most people immediately stop taking alcohol. Despite the fact that it more commonly used treatment alternative, the main concern in coonecti0n with disulfiram therapy is the difficulty of getting patients to take disulfiram on a regular basis. At times the cessation of the drug arises due to the patients intention to resume taking alcohol; in other instances it arises from confidence or apathy that abstention can he maintained by other means. A lot of alcoholics are there who will stop drinking alcohol through measures that do not involve disulfiram or calcium carbimide. However, a deterrent medication is a useful alternative therapy especially in the early stages of abstinence.
How to purchase them
The form of intramuscular implantation or the subcutaneous of sterile pellets of disulfiram is an alternative method of administration. You can get them from the market under the brand name of Esperal.