Antabuse is useful in treating alcoholism, but it must be combined with supportive therapy and counseling for it to work successfully. This medication must not be used without the person's knowledge.
Medication must always be taken as advised by your medical practitioner/physician. If you are unsure, then please contact your physician for precise instructions. On the other hand, the medicine label usually contains dosage instructions which also may be followed.
Antabuse may be taken with a meal or without a meal to prevent stomach problems. But it is advisable that only one or two tablets should be taken in a day.
A full glass of water when taken with Antabuse always ensures better absorption. If swallowing is a problem, then you may chew or even crush the medication before consumption. Do not take the medication until 12 hours from the time you consumed alcohol. The consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited under such circumstances.
Medications are prescribed according to a dosage schedule which must be completed in order to reap the benefits of the treatment. Lapsed schedules render Antabuse ineffective. So, never stop in between unless advised by your physician.
One of the best ways to ensure that you do not miss out on a dose is to maintain a fixed regime for consuming Antabuse each day.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Antabuse seeks to produce sensitivity to alcohol that may result in a highly unpleasant reaction especially when the patient under this treatment ingests even the smallest amounts of alcohol. Antabuse seeks to block the oxidation of alcohol at the acetaldehyde stage. During the alcohol metabolism after the intake of Antabuse, the concentration of acetaldehyde occurring in your blood may get 5 to 10 times higher than that found during your metabolism of the same quantity of alcohol alone. This accumulation of acetaldehyde in blood seeks to produce a complex of highly unpleasant signs which are referred to as the antabuse-alcohol reaction. This reaction, which is proportional to the dosage of both antabuse and alcohol, will continue as long as the alcohol is being metabolized. Antabus in no ways does tries to influence the rate of alcohol elimination from your body.
You must maintain a schedule for taking the medicine at the same time each day so that you do not miss out on any doses. But, in the advent of a missed dose, take it as soon as you remember so that you can compensate for the loss of the dose.
But, then you may need to adjust your remaining doses accordingly. And if it is almost time for the next dose, then please skip the missed dose and continue with the normal schedule.
Never try to compensate for the missed dose by taking a double dose together. It may cause adverse effects.
Antabuse must be stored at a cool and dark place that prevents it from direct exposure to sunlight. It should also be protected from kids and pets. You can store it at room temperature preferably between 15 to 30 degrees C.
If you are allergic to any ingredient in Antabuse (you may check medicine label) then please do not use it without consulting your doctor.
Ensure that your doctor is aware of your past and current medical history before you start any new treatment or medication. This must include any and all diseases that you have suffered /suffer from, all subscription and over the counter medication that you are taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements. This will help avoid a possible interaction or allergy.
In some cases, the medication might be altered or require special attention if you suffer from conditions like heart, liver or kidney disease, psychiatric problems and diabetes, also any allergies, especially to rubber or even to pesticides.
Antabuse is known to make some people dizzy or drowsy. And if you consume alcoholic beverages, then the chances of this happening increase greatly. Hence, alcohol and alcoholic beverages must be strictly avoided while taking Antabuse. If you have experienced drowsiness after taking Antabuse, then avoid tasks that require mental alertness for example, driving, handling heavy equipment or machinery etc.
If you are planning to have a baby or are pregnant already then you must seek advice from your doctor before using Antabuse. Discuss the effects and possible risks that Antabuse usage may have on the unborn baby.
If you are breast feeding your child, then too seek medical advice before using Antabuse. Some drugs may be excreted in the breast milk and may harm the baby.