At Guardian IOP we utilize Antabuse for the treatment of moderate and severe alcohol abuse disorders. Antabuse is the brand name of the generic drug disulfiram, the first FDA-approved medication for the treatment of alcoholism. When a person consumes alcohol it is metabolized as acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical compound that results in severe hangover symptoms in chronic heavy drinkers. Over time the body oxidizes acetaldehyde into acetic acid, a non-toxic compound. Antabuse works by directly interfering with this metabolic process. Acetaldehyde builds up in the body, and the person who has consumed alcohol feels as if a harshly unpleasant hangover is hitting within as little as 10 minutes after consumption.
People who drink alcohol while taking Antabuse experience:
- Extreme nausea and excessive vomiting
- Flushing of the skin
- Profuse sweating
- Extreme dizziness/vertigo
- Intense headache
- Chest pain and respiratory issues
- Decreased blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations
- Blurred vision
Because the effects of drinking while taking this medication can be so severe, it is important that a person who commits to this type of MAT thoroughly understands the potential consequences. This medication is ideal for people who are serious about recovery but who have a history of chronic relapse.