Antabuse: Uses – Side Effects – Warnings

Antabuse is a medication that is primarily used to treat alcohol use disorder. This medication is unique in that it causes unpleasant side effects when alcohol is consumed, which acts as a deterrent to drinking. This article will discuss the uses, benefits, side effects, and warnings of Antabuse.

Uses

Antabuse is used to treat alcohol use disorder, which is a condition where a person’s drinking leads to physical, mental, and social problems. This medication is used as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling, support groups, and other forms of treatment.

Benefits

The primary benefit of Antabuse is that it helps people with alcohol use disorder to stay sober. When alcohol is consumed while taking Antabuse causes a reaction that includes symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, and flushing. This reaction acts as a powerful deterrent to drinking, which in turn helps people to stay sober.

Side Effects

Antabuse can cause several side effects, including:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Flushing
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue

These side effects usually occur within 10-30 minutes of consuming alcohol and can last for several hours. In rare cases, Antabuse can cause severe side effects such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

If any of these severe side effects occur, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Warnings

Antabuse should not be taken by people who are allergic to it. It should also not be taken by people who are currently consuming alcohol, have consumed alcohol within the past 12 hours, or have recently used drugs that contain alcohol (such as cough syrup).

Additionally, Antabuse should not be taken by people with the following conditions:

  • Severe heart disease
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders

It is important to inform your doctor of any medical conditions you have before taking Antabuse.

Antabuse can interact with other medications, including some antibiotics, pain medications, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. It is important to inform your doctor of any medications you are currently taking before starting Antabuse.

FAQs

How long does Antabuse stay in your system?

Antabuse can remain in your system for up to two weeks after the last dose.

What should I do if I accidentally consume alcohol while on Antabuse?

If you accidentally consume alcohol while on Antabuse, you should seek medical attention immediately. The reaction from the medication can be severe, so it is important to get help as soon as possible.

Can Antabuse be used as a standalone treatment for alcoholism?

No, Antabuse should be used as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling, support groups, and other forms of treatment.

Can Antabuse be used during pregnancy?

Antabuse should not be used during pregnancy, as it can harm the developing fetus.

Can Antabuse cause liver damage?

Antabuse can cause liver damage in some people, particularly those with pre-existing liver disease. It is important to monitor liver function while taking this medication.

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