Antabuse is an enzyme blocker which is used by chronic alcoholics to avoid using alcohol. This drug causes an unpleasant reaction with alcohol and in turn enables alcoholics to avoid or reduce their alcohol consumption.

How it works?

Antabuse blocks an enzyme that is involved in metabolizing the intake of alcohol. It works to prevent the liver from breaking down acetaldehyde, which is a substance the body produces naturally when a person consumes alcohol. It is used along with behavior change, psychotherapy, counselling support to enable you to stop drinking. It blocks the processing of alcohol in the body which causes an awkward reaction when you consume alcohol and that will make you stop using alcohol slowly. Antabuse is an alcohol antagonist drug, however it cannot be used as a cure for alcoholism or to treat alcohol addiction.


Antabuse is used to treat chronic alcoholism in some people. It is used along with counselling for treating alcohol addiction. This drug encourages sobriety and is an effective deterrent. The medicine provides extra motivation to stay sober. This medicine can help you stop drinking due to the unpleasant side effects that could occur if you take alcohol while taking this medicine.


Antabuse is available in the form of tablets in the dosage strength of 250 mg. This tablet should never be administered unless a person has refrained from using alcohol for the past twelve hours. In the initial phase, a maximum of 500 mg is given as a single dose for about a week or two.

One can take Antabuse tablets by mouth either with or without having food usually once in the morning daily or as directed by your physician. The maintenance dose is about 250 mg to be maintained on a daily basis. The dose can be adjusted between 125 mg to 500 mg and should not exceed 500 mg dosage at any instance. The dosage should be continued every day unless the person is completely recovered from the alcoholism. Depending upon an individual, the maintenance dose might have to be maintained for months or even for years together.

Side effects

If you encounter any signs of allergic reactions like hives, breathing difficulty, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, then meet a doctor immediately.

Common side effects

  • Sweating
  • Excessive thirst
  • Nausea
  • Severe vomiting
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath
  • A light headed feeling
  • Sweating
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Neck pain, headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Skin rashes
  • Acne
  • Garlic like taste in mouth
  • Impotence or loss of sexual interest
  • tiredness

Severe side effects

  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Eye pain
  • Unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Liver problems
  • Jaundice

More severe side effects can occur if the med is used with excess alcohol like severe chest pain that can spread to your shoulder or jaw, slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, shallow breathing etc.


Antabuse should not be used by pregnant women, lactating mothers and people with medical condition related to liver, kidney, thyroid, brain, mental illness and blood sugar.

Never consume the medication along with any other liquid items. This includes mouth wash, vinegar, antiseptic products and others.  Consuming alcohol with Antabuse can cause sweating, neck pain, chest pain, weakness, light headedness, severe vomiting, nausea, weight gain, heightened thirst, spinning sensation and blurred vision. Not just consuming alcohol; coming in contact with thinner, paint, fertilizer and other alcohol related items can also induce these effects.

Consuming disulfiram and alcohol while using this drug can cause fatal results. Thus, doctor’s consent is very essential.

Do not share this drug with anyone and do not recommend or buy this drug for any alcoholic friend. Antabuse is not the right medicine for everyone.


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