Disulfiram is used as an aid in the management of alcohol dependence. This medicine helps establish self motivation in maintaining abstinence from alcohol once the medication is discontinued.
Take Disulfiram exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food.
Do not take Disulfiram if you have consumed alcohol in the last 12 hours.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Disulfiram if you have a history of allergic reactions (swollen eyes or mouth, difficulty breathing, rashes) to this medicine or any of its contents, and to thiuram compounds such as those used rubber vulcanisation and pesticides.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease e.g. heart failure, blocked arteries in the heart
- high blood pressure
- liver disease
- history of stroke
- mental illness e.g. severe personality disorder, thoughts of self-harm
as Disulfiram may not be suitable for you.
This medicine should not be taken when you are intoxicated with alcohol or if you have taken or applied any alcohol containing preparations e.g. liquid medicines such as cough syrup, certain foods, tonics, toiletries, perfumes and aerosol sprays.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- lung disease
- epilepsy (fits or seizure)
- brain damage
- thyroid disorder
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. He may also need to do liver function tests at the beginning of the treatment. Blood tests should be conducted and monitored after 10 to 14 days of the therapy.
Disulfiram may cause drowsiness, and tiredness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be physically and mentally alert.
This medicine may also cause Disulfiram-alcohol reaction (reactions such as headache, flushing, nausea, vomiting, sweating, palpitation, chest pain and confusion which are due to ingestion of alcohol while on Disulfiram therapy) which may persist for 30 minutes to several hours.
Other side effects may include any of the following : garlic-like or metallic aftertaste, body odor, bad breath, headache, impotence, skin rash or irritation, numbness or tingling sensation in the hands and feet, and damage to eye nerves causing vision loss.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- seizures (fits)
- unusual changes in mood and behaviour (e.g. being depressed, increased irritability)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
- medicines for blood thinning e.g. aspirin, warfarin
- medicines for depression e.g. amitriptyline
- medicines for mood disorder e.g. chlorpromazine
--medicines for anxiety e.g. chlordiazepoxide, diazepam
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizure) e.g. phenytoin
- medicines for tuberculosis e.g. isoniazid, rifampicin
- antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, metronidazole
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Disulfiram.
Always inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid vinegar, cider, extracts and other food containing alcohol.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.