Antabuse is a medication that works by blocking the enzyme involved in metabolizing the alcohol intake. It also produces a range of unpleasant adverse reactions when its active ingredient is combined with alcohol. Antabuse should be used by patients with chronic alcoholism, because its intake can help keep them from drinking due to the unpleasant side effects that happen when it’s combined with alcohol. This medication should be used together with psychotherapy, behavior modifications and proper counseling to stop people from drinking, but Antabuse isn’t a cure for alcoholism.
What to Do before Using Antabuse
It’s not allowed to start its intake if users aren’t aware of it. Don’t use this medication if you have consumed any alcohol within the last 12 hours. It’s highly recommended not to drink it 14 days before and after this treatment. You shouldn’t start it if you have any possible allergic reactions or if you’ve just taken paraldehyde or metronidazole and consumed any products containing alcohol, including certain desserts, cough meds, etc. To ensure that the intake of Antabuse is 100% safe for you, inform doctors if you have the following medical conditions:
Kidney and liver problems;
Diabetes and underactive thyroid;
Hypertension and heart diseases;
Allergies to rubber;
Mental ailments and psychosis;
Brain damage and head injuries.
It’s not advisable to start this treatment if you’re pregnant and breastfeeding to avoid possible complications. Antabuse is not intended to be used by anyone who is less than 18 years old.
How to Use Antabuse Correctly
Take this drug as prescribed by doctors and follow all the necessary recommendations. Sometimes regular doses can be changed to provide the best results. Besides, regular blood tests are needed to check liver functioning. There are certain things that should be avoided while using Antabuse, including alcohol. This substance can be present in solvents, paint thinners, stains and others.
Possible Side Effects
You need to get emergency medical help once you notice any signs of allergies to Antabuse, including:
Difficulty breathing and hives;
Swelling of your throat, tongue and lips.
Even a small amount of alcohol can result in quite unpleasant symptoms while the active ingredient of this medicine is in the body. For example, they include:
Increased sweating and thirst;
Fast weight gain and swelling;
Flushing, tingly feeling, redness and warmth;
Severe vomiting and nausea;
Blurred vision and throbbing headaches;
Chest and neck pain;
Pounding and fast heartbeats;
Fluttering in the best and shortness of breath;
Spinning sensation and unusual weakness;
Confusion and lightheadedness.
Unwanted Drug Interactions
There are certain medications that may potentially interact with Antabuse, thus, producing unwanted and dangerous drug interactions. Be sure to avoid them because they may lead to increased side effects and other health problems.