Skip to content


Speak To A Professional Confidentially

Table of Contents

Alcoholism is a widespread issue. The U.S. has an alcoholism rate of 13.90%, with 17.60% in men and 10.40% in women. The chronic medical disorder involves using alcohol abusively and not being able to stop.

People start drinking for many reasons. Some do it for fun when they start hanging out with other people who drink it or in places where alcohol is served. Others start doing it as a way to cope with their bad mental health or with the hardship they are experiencing in their daily life.

Antabuse is one of the medications that are sometimes used in people dealing with chronic alcoholism. If someone drinks alcohol under the treatment, they may start experiencing very bad side effects, which is what makes this medication so effective.

But Antabuse is not used alone. To be effective, it is used together with counseling and therapy.

What is Anabuse?

Antabuse or Disulfiram is a medication that can block an enzyme that helps process alcohol. It was the first medication that the Food and Drug Administration approved for the treatment of alcohol addiction and abuse. Usually, it is given to individuals who are dealing with chronic alcoholism.

Antabuse is effective because it causes extremely bad side effects in those who consume alcohol during the treatment. They may experience nausea, chest pain, fast heartbeat, flushing, dizziness, and thirst. So, it can keep someone from drinking alcohol.

The prescription medicine can be used along with other medications or by itself, depending on the individual and their treatment. It is part of a drug class known as “antidipsotropic medications”. 

Antabuse is recommended for adults only, and it is unknown whether it would be effective and safe for children. The medication is non-addictive, and it works well in people who want to quit alcohol but cannot fight their cravings.

Get Help Now

Talk to a professional now and change your life.

Using Anabuse

The body metabolizes alcohol into acetaldehyde when you drink it. This substance is very toxic, and it is what leads to the hangover symptoms people tend to get after drinking excessively. Apart from that, the body will oxidize the acetaldehyde into acetic acid, but this isn’t harmful.

When using Antabuse, it will get involved in the metabolic process. Basically, it will prevent acetaldehyde oxidation. Furthermore, it will result in an acetaldehyde build-up that is 5 to 10 times greater than the amount you would usually get after enjoying some alcoholic drinks.

The medication will not treat alcohol withdrawal, but it can reduce cravings. In order to make sure that the metabolic cycle continues, the patient should take Antabuse regularly. It comes as a tablet, and it is odorless, tasteless, and has a whitish color.

The Right Dosage

Before taking an Antabuse dose, the individual should stay away from alcohol for at least 12 hours. Otherwise, the medication shouldn’t be taken.

At first, when the treatment begins, the patient should take a maximum of 500 mg per day in a single dose, and this should continue for 1-2 weeks. Ideally, the person should take the medication in the morning. If there are sedative effects experienced by the patient, the dosage may be adjusted.

On average, the maintenance dose is 250 mg every day, and it should not go over 500 mg daily. The medication must be taken continuously, without interruption until the patient makes a proper recovery and until they reach a good level of self-control. There are situations when patients require maintenance therapy for several months or years, depending on the case.

Person taking antabuse

Side Effects of Antabuse

Antabuse has a lot of good effects on people who want to recover from their alcohol addiction, but side effects may appear as well. The good part is that as the body gets used to the medication, the side effects typically subside.

Some Antabuse side effects may involve:

  • Skin rash
  • Tiredness
  • Mild headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Acne
  • Impotence
  • Garlic-like or metallic after taste

Severe allergic reactions are quite rare after taking Antabuse. Still, they may appear. This is why seeking medical attention immediately is crucial if you are experiencing these symptoms after starting an Antabuse treatment:

  • Psychosis
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Severe dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Abdominal pain
  • Liver function changes
  • Swelling particularly in the tongue, throat, or face

If patients see early symptoms of hepatitis like weakness, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, clay-colored stools, dark urine, jaundice, or anorexia, they should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Antabuse Use Precautions

If you are about to start an Antabuse treatment, then there are a few things you should know. For instance, you should not be exposed to any products that contain alcohol, including perfumes, aftershave, rubbing alcohol, some mouthwash products, hair sprays, and hand sanitizers.

This is because such products might make you feel sick due to the form of alcohol they contain. Furthermore, they may intensify the Antabuse effects.

It is also important to be wary of certain foods that contain alcohol. These include kombucha, vinegar, sauces, and flavorings. People should also stay away from alcoholic drinks during the treatment, but also 14 days after discontinuing the treatment.

Are You Ready To Talk?

How Long Does Antabuse Stay in Your Body?

The gastrointestinal tract slowly absorbs around 80-95 percent of the Disulfiram, after which it is filtered through the body. 20 percent of it is usually eliminated.

Most of the time, the disulfiram elimination is gradual, and the medication can stay two weeks in the body. So, if the patient decides to consume alcohol during this time, the symptoms they will experience will be extremely uncomfortable.

Why Choose Us

Here at Real Deal, we ensure that people make proper recoveries from alcohol addiction. Those who start their recovery journey with us can go through detoxification and therapy.

Once they are done, they can stay in a sober living home where they will be able to focus on exercise, a good diet, spiritual meeting attendance, continuous employment, cleanliness, and connections. We work hard to help our patients get their lives back but also build a better future for them.

Reach out for help if you are dealing with alcohol addiction. You may be prescribed Antabuse so that you can be able to work towards recovery. So, don’t hesitate to call us!

Message Us