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Antabuse Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Antabuse (disulfiram) is used to treat chronic alcoholism. It is an alcohol antagonist drug. This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include drowsiness, tiredness, headache, acne, and metallic/garlic-like taste in the mouth as your body gets used to the medication.
In the first phase of treatment, a maximum of 500 mg of Antabuse daily is given in a single dose for one to two weeks. The average maintenance dose of Antabuse is 250 mg daily (range, 125 to 500 mg), not to exceed 500 mg daily. Do not drink alcohol and avoid all alcohol-containing products (e.g., cough and cold syrups, mouthwash, or foods containing alcohol) while taking this medication. Antabuse may interact with isoniazid, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants, warfarin, metronidazole, theophylline, phenytoin, or lithium. Tell your doctor all medications you are taking. During pregnancy, Antabuse should be used only when prescribed. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Antabuse (disulfiram) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Antabuse in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
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);
- 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;
- 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.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Antabuse (Disulfiram) »
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Antabuse Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: decreased sexual ability, vision changes, numbness/tingling of arms/legs, muscle weakness, mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, extreme excitement/confusion), seizures, confusion.
This drug may infrequently cause serious (rarely fatal) liver disease. If you notice any of the following unlikely but very serious side effects, tell your doctor immediately: persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Antabuse (Disulfiram)»
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Antabuse FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
OPTIC NEURITIS, PERIPHERAL NEURITIS, POLYNEURITIS, AND PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY MAY OCCUR FOLLOWING ADMINISTRATION OF DISULFIRAM.
Multiple cases of hepatitis, including both cholestatic and fulminant hepatitis, as well as hepatic failure resulting in transplantation or death, have been reported with administration of disulfiram.
Occasional skin eruptions are, as a rule, readily controlled by concomitant administration of an antihistaminic drug. In a small number of patients, a transient mild drowsiness, fatigability, impotence, headache, acneform eruptions, allergic dermatitis, or a metallic or garlic-like aftertaste may be experienced during the first two weeks of therapy. These complaints usually disappear spontaneously with the continuation of therapy, or with reduced dosage.
Psychotic reactions have been noted, attributable in most cases to high dosage, combined toxicity (with metronidazole or isoniazid), or to the unmasking of underlying psychoses in patients stressed by the withdrawal of alcohol.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Antabuse (Disulfiram) »
Additional Antabuse Information
Antabuse - User Reviews
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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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