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Antabuse (Disulfiram)

Description

Antabuse is a drug which is used in the treatment of alcoholism. This drug is not a cure for alcoholism and must be taken only after the consensus with supportive therapy or the counseling. It should not be given to any person without informing about it to them.

WARNING: Antabuse should never be administered to a patient without the patient knowing it. It is very vital to take the consent from the patient and council them on the changes they might go through with the treatment. Never administer the drug to a patient who is under the influence of any form of alcohol for its least twelve hours.

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Recommendations

WAYS TO USE: Antabuse is to be taken through the mouth or orally. Usually one or two tablets a day as prescribed by the doctor. If you have problems with swallowing the tablets, you can crush it into powder and drink it after mixing it up with any liquid. After intake of alcohol, this medication should not be taken until at least 12 hours have passed. During the intake of this medication, it is extremely necessary to avoid the contact of alcohol in all forms. The various forms could be beer, wine, aftershave lotions, colognes, mouthwash and liquid medication. To avoid the contact of alcohols the labels should be read carefully including those of non-prescription products. In case of uncertainty about any particular products, you will need to inquire with the pharmacist and check if it has any alcohol content in it.
SIDE EFFECTS OF ANTABUSE: Intake of tablets of Antabuse may cause drowsiness, headache, skin rash, restlessness, acne, garlic-like aftertaste and sometimes changes in vision. The doctor should be informed if any of these cases persist or worsen. Such cases are unlikely to occur but should be reported immediately in cases of tingling hands or feet, loss of appetite, weakness, nausea, strong stomach pains, vomiting, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes or skin. In case of other effects noticed that are not listed above; contact your doctor or pharmacist.
PRECAUTIONS: Your medical history should be submitted to the doctor, especially: liver or kidney disease, heart disease, psychiatric problems, diabetes and any allergies (especially to rubber and pesticides). Intolerance to alcohol is caused due to this medication. Intake of alcohol during the medication process could result in serious effects which could last from 30 minutes to several hours. An unpleasant reaction of headache, flushing, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, sweating, pounding heart(palpitations),blurred vision or weakness when even small amounts of alcohol can be caused due to Antabuse. After the medication has been stopped, these disulfiram-alcohol reactions can occur up to two weeks. One should use caution when driving or engaging an activities requiring alertness as Antabuse can cause drowsiness. During the time pregnancy, Antabuse should be used only when it is absolutely needed. You should consult with the doctor regarding the risks and benefits of it. It is not yet known whether Antabuse is excreted into breast milk. Therefore one should consult the doctor before breast feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Antabuse can affect the way your body reacts when other drugs are consumed. Therefore, you should inform your doctor about all the medications that you use (both prescription and non-prescription), especially the ones like isoniazid, amitriptyline, metronidazole, theophyllinewarfarin, phenytoin. Without the approval of the doctor or pharmacist do not start or stop any medicine.
OVERDOSE: You should refer to your local poison control center immediately if feel the overdose. Unsteadiness, unusual bleeding or bruising, facial flushing, fainting, memory loss, garlic or rotten eggs like breath, metallic taste and seizures are some symptoms of overdose.
STORAGE: Antabuse should be stored between 59 to 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C) at room temperature and should be kept away from moisture and sunlight. Just make sure that you never store the tablets in the bathroom.

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