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Antabuse

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/20/2020
Antabuse Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 1/14/2019

Antabuse (disulfiram) is an alcohol antagonist drug used to treat chronic alcoholism. Antabuse is available in generic form. Common side effects of Antabuse include:

Tell your doctor if you have a unlikely but serious side effects of Antabuse including:

  • vision changes,
  • numbness or tingling of arms and legs,
  • muscle weakness,
  • mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, extreme excitement/confusion), or
  • seizures.

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 breastfeeding.

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.

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Antabuse Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Even small amounts of alcohol can produce unpleasant symptoms while disulfiram is in your body. These symptoms include:

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • sweating, increased thirst, swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • nausea, severe vomiting;
  • neck pain, throbbing headache, blurred vision;
  • chest pain, shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
  • fast or pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • confusion, weakness, spinning sensation, feeling unsteady; or
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.

More severe symptoms may occur when disulfiram and large amounts of alcohol are used together, such as severe chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, slow heart rate, weak pulse, seizure, fainting, weak or shallow breathing, or slow breathing (breathing may stop). A disulfiram-alcohol reaction can be fatal.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • eye pain or sudden vision loss;
  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior; or
  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • skin rash, acne;
  • mild headache, tired feeling;
  • impotence, loss of interest in sex; or
  • metallic or garlic-like taste in the mouth.

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.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Antabuse (Disulfiram)

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Antabuse Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

(See CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS.)

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)

Related Resources for Antabuse

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Read the Antabuse User Reviews »

© Antabuse Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Antabuse Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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