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What You Should Know About Antabuse

Mar 12, 2018 | Recovery, Treatment

Antabuse is a pharmaceutical drug that can thwart someone that has a problem with alcohol from wanting to drink under its dose. Known also as Disulfiram, Antabuse has a diverse assessment as to its success with people that use it to stop drinking.

The History

In the 1930’s, employees of a vulcanized rubber tire company were unprotected from a key component in disulfiram that made them ill once they drank alcohol after work. Noticeably it was recognized that the chemicals that the employees were exposed to cause a reaction with alcohol that made some people want to look further into the chemical effects alongside alcohol. A few researchers at a Danish drug company tested the chemical on themselves to see what would happen. They quickly figured out that they had a violent reaction to the mixture of Disulfiram and alcohol.

The Breakdown

When someone consumes alcohol, alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde in the body and continues to functionally be broken down to acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. If the enzyme, dehydrogenase, is inhibited in the body, then acetaldehyde continues to build up with undesirable side effects. The acetaldehyde that lingers in the bloodstream can be more potent of up to five to ten more than normal and is responsible for the hangover symptoms that occur. Using Antabuse makes the hangover reaction more intense for 30 minutes or up to an hour.

The Experience

People that take Antabuse will start to feel overwhelmingly ill about 10 minutes after they drink alcohol. The intensity differs for everyone, as well as, the variation of the different signals of Antabuse ailments.

  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain
  • Choking
  • Confusion
  • Respiratory depression
  • Headache
  • Myasthenia
  • Nausea
  • Redness in the face
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

The Side Effects

  • An aftertaste that is metallic or garlic-like
  • Allergic dermatitis
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Skin eruptions

Not everyone should use Antabuse. There have been reports of heart complications, hepatitis, and hepatotoxicity. Consult a doctor to figure out if Antabuse can be a temporary solution. There have been promising long-term results for some people that suffer from alcohol use disorders.

The Aversion

Patients that use Antabuse can use it as a form of aversion therapy. By pairing a negative behavior to a negative consequence, it makes that behavior consistently associated with the negative consequence going forward. With Antabuse, the goal is to connect being sick with drinking alcohol to cease consumption ongoing.

While Antabuse can help facilitate sobriety, it is not a cure for alcoholism. Cessation of alcohol with Antabuse is not a guarantee that someone will continue to stay sober. The use of Antabuse can help someone get through the initial stages of early sobriety, however, trying to get to the root cause of alcoholism with the help of rehab, therapy, and a 12-Step Program has shown to be more prosperous.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can help you or a loved one who is struggling with alcohol to find a better solution in sobriety. Our medical and clinical staff work together to help you along in your recovery.

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At Serenity Oaks Wellness Center, we offer residential detox and addiction treatment with a wide range of modalities to address the needs of all our clients. Our high staff-to-client ratio ensures everyone that enters our facility gets the personal attention they need and deserve for a safe and successful detox process. To learn more about our program, contact Serenity Oaks Wellness Center today at 844-720-6847.
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