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Comment from: ICAM46143, 35-44 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months Published: November 19

Antabuse, combined with other treatment modalities is an awesome way to get the Alcoholic on the way to sobriety. However, care must be used in those suffering from hepatocellular dysfunction or other liver problems. Unlike other expensive drugs this deterrant can help the alcoholic build a foundation to recovery.

Related Reading: antabuse | liver

Comment from: 35-44 Female on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: March 29

I have been an alcoholic for a long time. I had trouble relating to people in AA because I never hit rock bottom, so I rarely went to meetings and never quit drinking for a long time. 2 years ago my doctor offered me Antabuse. After a 'last' binge I started taking 500mg/day. After a while I cut back to 250mg/day. I was sober for 9 months on it. After 9 months I decided that I wanted to drink at a concert, so I stopped taking the med 2 weeks before the concert. After the concert I went on a 2 day binge (no big surprise). Then I went back to the drug and stopped drinking again for several months. I have followed this pattern for the past 15 months - a while on the drug and sober, then off and drinking for a few days, and then back on. My dosage is now 250mg every other day. I have experimented and found that I need to be off it for 4 days before I can drink without side effects (AT THIS DOSAGE). When I drink too soon, my blood pressure goes way up and my entire body turns beet red - very scary. Overall I'm very happy with the results of the drug. My system only works because I have the willpower to return to it after a few days of drinking. I feel that Antabuse has allowed me to 'control' my drinking better than I could do on my own or with meetings (gee - do I sound like an alcoholic? Yes). Your mileage may vary...

Comment from: Bud, 25-34 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: September 14

This drug is awesome...if you take it everyday. I have been unable to stay sober for more than a month at a time over the last 5 years. When I drink I smoke crack. When I use I am sometimes gone for days getting high and staying drunk. My girlfriend of 5 years has put up with my constant relapses and somehow has stayed with me, always hoping I would stop. I tried absolutely everything to stop drinking and Nothing had stopped me. When I had the cravings I could not stop myself. So now it has been 3 weeks and I have stayed sober taking it everyday. My girlfriend gives it to me every morning because if it were up to me I would probably not take it so that I could drink occassionally. So if you have the option of someone literally putting it on your tongue and watch you swallow then do so. You can fight the disease out of fear of getting violently ill as so many other reviewers can attest to. Save your your life. God bless us all.

Comment from: Jen, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: July 05

I have been taking this medication for almost 60 days at 250mg. At this dose I have only experienced mild abdominal discomfort. I began at 250 mg, but found I was still able to have a sip of alcohol and not experience the side effects. I spoke with my doctor and upped the dose to 500 mg, but found the abdominal discomforts to be too great and went back down to 250mg. I have been sober for 20 days now. I take Campral in addition to Antabuse to help treat my alcoholism and Lexapro for anxiety. I attend counseling and see a Psychiatrist and regularly go to AA. I have found the Antabuse to be an integral tool to aid me in quitting drinking as it keeps me honest. The side effects that occur when mixing this drug with alcohol are quite unpleasant and are enough of a deterrent to keep me away from alcohol.

Related Reading: campral | alcoholism | lexapro

Comment from: poofpoof, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: September 24

I didn't drink for a while on antabuse. Then one day I tried a beer a day after taking my 500mg dosage. Within about 5-10 minutes,my face felt flush, my heartrate increased, until eventually, it felt like there was an anvil on my chest. My hands and feet became incredibly itchy, but I did not vomit. There have been a few occasions where I have drank within a day or 2 of taking antabuse and a few times have felt like dying!! It's hard to breathe! The flushed face and itchy extremities are one thing, but when you feel like you are going to suffocate, that's quite another. I briefly occupied myself with wanting other things, such as Starbuck's or shopping. I am an addict at heart. The cravings for alcohol don't stop, but are better when taking antabuse.

Related Reading: antabuse

Comment from: annie, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: January 17

I'm a successful, high functioning alcoholic. I've been on this drug for two weeks now and it's a real lifesaver. It is such a huge RELIEF to know that I cannot drink - so much easier than just willpower alone. The beast is off my back! The only side effect that I'm having is fatigue. I do wish I found this sooner... I thought this was for extreme cases only. I've tried everything over the past five years (naltaxrone doesn't work, AA isn't for me) and antabuse makes it so much easier. I only have to think about alcohol once a day (when I take the pill) instead of pure willpower which is impossible.

Related Reading: fatigue

Comment from: Nat, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: November 24

The thought of being so ill with alcohol addiction scared me into eventually asking the addiction unit to prescribe me disulfiram. I very nearly lost my job as a nurse when a combination of depression and alcohol addiction took hold. My whole life fell apart. Went to AA, which was not for me, too religious. Did a couple of home detoxes with chlordiazepoxide and campral which worked for a short time until I got so depressed all I could do was drink. Drinking whilst on antabuse is lethal. I tried it once, I thought I was going to die. I looked horrendous, my whole face, neck and upper body went purple, my eyes were so bloodshot I looked like a drug addict. I am ashamed to admit that I am an alcoholic, but just being open about it helps.

Related Reading: depression | campral | antabuse

Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: February 11

Definately reduced desire to consume alchol. However, caused horrendous headaches, rash on hands and face, dizziness, nausea, extreme tiredness, blurred vision, and hands and feet became very, very cold, as if my circulatory system was not functioning properly. The bad has far out-weighed the good for me on this medication.

Related Reading: rash | dizziness

Comment from: surf5, 55-64 Female on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: December 23

40 years of drinking, 4 detoxs and a rehab. Thought I could succeed with controlled drinking but the shrink thought otherwise. 3 weeks in and have no desire to drink - maybe the scare factor has driven the monkey away. Because I can't drink there is no mental turmoil to deal with. No side effects, no guilt trip. So far so good. Recommended.

Comment from: shazaam, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: August 11

I am really excited about this and feel so much better already! I took the full dose the first week but now only take a half pill so I can make the prescription last longer. I also found a discount coupon online so it was only about $52.00 at Walgreens which is extremely inexpensive compared to what I spend on alcohol in a month. I love that I just have no option now when I pass a liquor store and I really hope this works to help train my brain that I do not need to drink crazy amounts everyday. I really like it and am glad I decided to follow through on taking it.

Comment from: happy wife, 45-54 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months Published: March 13

My husband has been on this medication for 2 months and this has been the best thing for all of us. He is sober and afraid to drink due to the side effects, family life has improved. He has high stress at work he doesn't sleep much.He is also has depression issues and is on lexapro and also takes trazodone to help sleep. He does suffer from anxiety but not sure if it's partly due to the anabuse or not. Anabuse gives him peace of mind that he can function and work every day. He had some chicken marsala, not thinking, and he has been dry heaving alot his skin was red and hot and in some places white and cool. Anabuse seems to work. MY sister in law died due to the disease and we don't wanna lose him the same way, so anything is worth trying. He's been an alcoholic for many many years he's been sober for 2yrs without meds but lately can't do it on his own and this seems to be helping. It takes a load off knowing he can't drink and if he doesn't drink all can be good. GOOD LUCK TO ALL.

Related Reading: stress | lexapro | trazodone

Comment from: Barbie Doll, 55-64 on Treatment for less than 1 month Published: March 06

I wanted to take back control of my life. I wanted to finally stop drinking for good. I wanted to have energy again, enjoy my life and do more than just drink. I asked my doctor to prescribe antabuse. I have been on it for about 3 weeks now. My system is quite sensitive and 500mg was just too much - I was having reactions to everything. I also didn't realize how many things contained alcohol until I ate a couple of chocolates (choc liquer) and I was sick for a day! I cut back to 250 mg and started to research all the other items I needed to cut out that contained alcohol. The list is very long!!!! I have learned that you need to return to basics and cook your own food. All forms of processed foods contain some sort of alcohol. nail polish, hair spray, hair dye, dish liquid, even clothes detergent! As soon as I started eliminating these items I begin to feel better. Seek advice from a pharmacist or a homeopath regarding vitamins you can take that really get rid of cravings. And, most of all, don't give up!!!!! It will give you back your life and you will feel amazing!

Related Reading: vitamins

Comment from: willhelm45, 35-44 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: September 06

I went through a year of AA, going to meetings, meetings and more meetings, doing everything I was told to and it didn't help at all. I finally started intense psychotherapy and antabuse therapy and I have been able to stay off the booze. This drug is a life saver. Taking the pill every day is like making a covenant with myself. Almost a year. I had side effects ( tiredness) at first but it went away quickly. Now I'm not sure if that wasn't just after effects of alcohol, not eating well, no excercise, all the things people do when they are boozing. At least try it-- different things work for different people!

Related Reading: antabuse

Comment from: 19-24 Female on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: November 12

first started antabuse about 3 years ago, stayed on the medication for awhile and stopped. never drank on the medication until i took it again a few months later after relapse. DO NOT DRINK WHEN TAKING THIS MEDICATION!!! my skin turned flush red, my throat swelled, i became dizzy and disoriented, my heart rate increased to a extremely scary rate, severe vomiting, stomach and chest pains, muscle aches, joint aches, i thought i was going to die. this drug is one not to play around with when taking and consuming alcohol. death may occur. i have to say, taking the medication made me fearful of alcohol *since you have to be sure not to use Listorine, cologne/perfume that contains alcohol, or eat or drink anything with alcohol* but i wasnt satisfied for the fact if a strong enough urge to drink came along, it would do me in for sure considering the side effects. but taking the medication normally, without consuming alcohol, i did not experience any side effects.

Comment from: thekid, Female on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: August 13

this drug works only because of my FEAR of the sickness that occurs when you mix it with alcohol. currently on this for over 90 days, haven't had a drink in over a year. but Man, i'm thirsty, i just can't trust myself on the juice anymore and the temptation is too grteat so i had my Dr. put me on antabuse.

Comment from: 35-44 Female on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: January 31

I take antabuse once a week, since the chemical lasts for more than 4 days, I am protected for most of the time, the one problem is psychological, you have to take the pill so you have to feel like not drinking, it has worked for me for two years and I am habituated to not drinking and feel kind of tense at the thought of getting drunk. I even have nightmares where I have consumed alcohol and feel panicked about it, so go ahead and use the drug if you need reinforcement for your willpower, but it is easy to fake taking it or subvert the process another way, especially if you are only monitoring yourself. By the way, the one or two times I did experience the symptoms of consuming alcohol with some disulfiram in my system were pretty uncomfortable, to say the least, it definitely works as advertised.

Related Reading: nightmares

Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: January 01

I started taking Antabuse Nov 28th 2012, and havnt had the urge to drink since, it is GREAT, the only thing I dont like is I cant have pickles, catsup or mustard anymore, (I found out the hard way, was out shopping got a couple burgers without thinking and within 15 minutes I was in so much pain and felt nauseous, had the sweats, bad feeling, I can only imagine what it would be like if I had alcohol!

Related Reading: antabuse

Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: May 13

The effectiveness of Antabuse comes from fear, at least for me. I did not want to become violently ill from drinking alcohol or breaking out in a rash or other topical irritations from coming in contact with products that contain alcohol. Yes, it does effect you if you use, for instance, hand lotion that contains alcohol. Antabuse does not stop the physiological desire to drink. It is merely a deterrent. I had no hard-core side effects but did have a mild upset belly during the time that I took the drug.

Related Reading: rash

Comment from: Eliza, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-6 months Published: January 27

My husband has been on Antabuse for 2 months - the first month was really difficult as he had significant side effects (fatigue, headache, general feeling of unwellness), but these have settled down. Initially he was able to continue drinking without any significant reaction (he flushed and got racing heart but was not sick and felt discouraged that the medication was not worthwhile and not providing the disincentive he had hoped for). After about 3 weeks on the meds he did become very sick after drinking 12 std drinks (which was very scary for me to watch and hope he would be OK). At 4 weeks he was only able to drink 2 std drinks before feeling ill and now has been completely sober for a month. The best thing is it is like a weight has lifted from him as the effect of the meds provide a physical motivation to not drink rather than just willpower alone and the daily stress of not drinking isn't such a burden. For this medication to work you need to have high motivation to take the tablets in the first place and then to persevere through the side effects - it is worthwhile and it is now certainly working for my husband. As a partner, it has certainly helped life at home but it is not a magic or easy fix. His plan is to stay on the meds, and sober, for another few months and then try controlled drinking.

Related Reading: fatigue | headache | stress

Comment from: 45-54 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: November 14

I have been taking antabuse for about a year now but only sober for 3 months. I started on 250 but found I could drink on that so I asked my doctor to increase it to 500mg. I did drink again and felt the full effects including vomiting, red skin all over and racing heart which were terrible. At first I resented taking it but now I am glad I do. My life is so much better and I feel I have the awful beast (alcohol) off of my back! When I think of drinking again I remember all of the antabuse side effects and I don't want to. The only problem I'm having now is the sleepiness- I come home from work and can sleet until the next morning! But it's much better than drinking!

Related Reading: antabuse

Comment from: John, 35-44 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: May 30

The fact that it dissolves in water is good. I cant pretend to take it and then spit it out. It has made me give up alcohol completely since 2nd April this year as the side effects are too unpleasant. I had been a very heavy drinker for 26 years.

Comment from: bnm62526, 35-44 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: January 16

Raised my blood sugsar levels to where i was classified a diabetic. i have since joined aa and am still not drinking. no one advised me of the side-effects of this medicine.

Comment from: lilwill1, 35-44 Female on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: March 23

I have been on antabuse for 13 days and it is incredible.the first two days my stomach was upset ,then I took it with food before bed and the aches went away.This stuff really works great.It makes you drowzy/sleepy so I will only take it at night.Feel great, no desire to drink and the side effect warning helps me too not drink at all.Tons more energy and now I can sleep at least 6 hours a night when my normal used to be around 4.AA meetings a couple of times a week also helps put things into perspective.

Comment from: ungodly80, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: February 01

After filling the script and reading the long list of potential side effects of consumption of alcohol, I'm scared to drink, or use any lotions, mouthwashes, etc, with alcohol in them. I'm reading labels carefully, have had a reaction to a few of my lotions and colognes. Just use a little, and wait a day to see if you have any reaction before you apply it all over. I still have a desire to drink because I am an alcoholic, but my desire NOT to get very sick is more powerful. I just have to remember to take this every day, and I will not drink any alcohol (first time in many, many years.)

Comment from: nieve, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: September 23

The only noticeable side effect was the nasty taste in my mouth but with time this went away. It did help with my cravings because I knew of the consequence if I drank therefore chose not to drink.

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

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