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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Disulfiram : Before Using

Disulfiram (Systemic)

Brand Names : Antabuse

Disulfiram | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For disulfiram, the following should be considered:

Allergies - Tell your doctor if you have had any unusual or allergic reactions to disulfiram, rubber, pesticides, or fungicides.

Diet - In addition to beverages, alcohol is found in many other products. Reading the list of ingredients on foods and other products before using them will help you to avoid alcohol. Do not use alcohol-containing foods such as sauces and vinegars.

Pregnancy - Disulfiram has not been studied in pregnant women. However, there have been a few reports of birth defects in infants whose mothers took disulfiram during pregnancy. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding - Disulfiram has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children - Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of disulfiram in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults - Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of disulfiram in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines - Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases 2 different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking disulfiram, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants (blood thinners) - Taking disulfiram may increase the effects of anticoagulants, changing the amount you need to take
  • Ethotoin (e.g., Peganone) or
  • Mephenytoin (e.g., Mesantoin) or
  • Phenytoin (e.g., Dilantin) - Taking these medicines with disulfiram may change the amount of anticonvulsant medicine you need to take
  • Isoniazid (e.g., INH, Nydrazid) - Disulfiram may increase central nervous system (CNS) effects, such as dizziness, clumsiness, irritability, or trouble in sleeping
  • Metronidazole (e.g., Flagyl) or
  • Paraldehyde (e.g., Paral) - These medicines should not be taken with or within several days of disulfiram because serious side effects may occur
Ethylene dibromide or organic solvents (such as chemicals which may contain alcohol, acetaldehyde, paraldehyde, or other related chemicals used in factories and in hobbies [e.g., paint thinner]) - Make sure you tell your doctor if you will come in contact with or breathe the fumes of ethylene dibromide or organic solvents while you are taking disulfiram.

Other medical problems - The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of disulfiram. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Asthma or other lung disease, severe, or
  • Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) or
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder or
  • Heart or blood vessel disease or
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease or cirrhosis of the liver or
  • Underactive thyroid - A disulfiram-alcohol reaction may make the condition worse
  • Depression or
  • Severe mental illness - Disulfiram may make the condition worse
  • Skin allergy - Disulfiram may cause an allergic reaction

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Disulfiram: Description and Brand Names


Disulfiram: Proper Use

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