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There are so many prescription medications out there, and we are not familiar with more than half of them. Most of us aren’t pharmacists, and a lot of people are also fortunate enough to never be prescribed with too many of these meds.
Still, we could benefit from learning a thing or two about a few substances that are commonly prescribed. Drug addiction is often the result of a lack of knowledge regarding the effects of substance abuse. It pays to be informed.
On this article, we will be focusing on Disulfiram, more commonly known as Antabuse. Here are some of the things you should know about it.
What is Disulfiram?
Disulfiram is used in certain people who are struggling with chronic alcoholism. So if you have a family member who is an alcoholic, and they are receiving treatment, perhaps this is one of their medications. The substance actually works by blocking an enzyme that is involved in metabolizing alcohol within the body.
If alcohol meets disulfiram, it produces very unpleasant side effects within the body. It, therefore, discourages people from drinking. It’s especially useful if a person has lost their control over their own intake. If they don’t know how much is too much, then disulfiram can help keep their cravings at bay.
Of course, this medication works best when used as a part of a comprehensive drug addiction treatment program. With the use of behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and counseling, the patient can recover from their addiction much more quickly.
Make no mistake: this drug is not a cure for alcoholism. It causes unpleasant side effects if you drink alcohol while under the effects of this substance. It will not cure the addiction. It helps the person get sober by limiting their addictive behavior, but rehab will still be necessary.
What You Should Know
Here we’re covering things you should know if you are given disulfiram for chronic alcoholism. For starters, it should not be taken if you have consumed alcohol within the past 12 hours. Do not drink alcohol while taking this, for reasons we’ve mentioned above.
And if you do start taking this, make sure you keep away from alcoholic drinks. Otherwise, you may experience some severe side effects.
Make sure you tell your doctor if you are allergic to this type of prescription medication. Also inform them if you have liver disease, kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or epilepsy. Disulfiram is also not suitable for patients with a history of stroke, heart attack, mental illness, or psychosis.
It goes without saying that this drug should not be given to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.
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How to take the Drug
Make sure you take this drug exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow their instructions closely. Do not take larger doses of this drug, and do not take it more often than you are supposed to.
On that note, your doctor may occasionally change your dose depending on your condition to help you get the best results. If you accidentally miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless you are about to take your next dose anyway. In that case, you should not take a larger dose just to make up for the missed one.
Disulfiram is a helpful medication, especially when taken properly. If you know someone who is addicted to drinking, you can look for an addiction treatment facility near you. They still need behavioral therapy and other methods to help them stay sober. Help them get started today!