Generic Name : DISULFIRAM
Pronunciation : (dye sul' fi ram)
Trade Name(s) : Disulfiram, Esperal
Why it is prescribed: Disulfiram is used to treat chronic alcoholism. It causes unpleasant side effects when even small amounts of alcohol are consumed. These side effects include flushing of the face, headache, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, weakness, blurred vision, mental confusion, sweating, choking, breathing difficulty, and anxiety. These effects begin about 10 minutes after alcohol enters the body and last for one hour or more.
When it is to be taken: Disulfiram should be taken once a day. To help you remember to take it regularly, take it at the same time you do some regular daily activity, such as brushing your teeth in the morning or eating dinner.
How it should be taken: Disulfiram comes in the form of tablets. If you cannot swallow the tablets, crush them and mix the medication with water, coffee, tea, milk, soft drink, or fruit juice.
Special Instruction :
1. Do not drink any alcoholic beverages while taking disulfiram, during the 12-hours period before you take your first dose, and for several weeks after stopping the drug.
2. Always carry an identification card stating that you are taking disulfiram and indicating the doctor to be contacted in an emergency.
3. Disulfiram makes some patients drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
4. Do not stop taking disulfiram without consulting your doctor.
5. Special dietary instructions should be followed. Avoid sauces, vinegars, and all foods and beverages containing alcohol.
6. If you remember a missed dose within 12 hours of when you should have taken it, take the missed dose. However, if it is more than 12 hours since you should have taken it, omit the missed dose and take only the next dose at its regularly scheduled time. Do not take more than one dose in a 12-hour period.
Side Effects :
1. Although side effects from disulfiram are not common, they can occur. Skin rash, acne, mild headache, drowsiness, tiredness, impotence. Contact your doctor.
2. Metallic taste or garlic-like taste in the mouth. This side effect usually disappear after a while.
Other Precautions :
1. Be sure that your doctor knows your entire medical history before you take disulfiram.
2. Disulfiram can affect the way that your body reacts to other drugs.
3. Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking, especially amitriptyline, isoniazid, metronidazole, phentoin, warfarin, and nonprescription drugs that might contain alcohol.
4. Do not use liniments or lotions, including aftershave, that contain alcohol.
5. Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.
Storage Conditions :
1. Store this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children.
2. Store it away from moisture and heat.