disulfiram ANTABUSE

Class: Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Inhibitor
FDA Indications: Deterrent To Alcohol Consumption
Off-Label Use:
Forms: 250, 500mg tablet
Dose Range: 125-500 mg/day
Starting: 125 mg QPM, and to increase to 250 mg QPM after several days. Maintenance dose is usually 250 mg QPM, but some patients can drink without a reaction on this dose; if so, increase to 375 mg or 500 mg QPM.
Monitoring: Monitor LFTs

NAMI drug fact sheet

Contraindications: Contraindicated in combination with alcohol; s/sx of a DER are due to ↑ acetaldehyde concentrations and include facial and body warmth and flushing, conjunctival injection, pruritus, urticaria, diaphoresis, lightheadedness, vertigo, headache, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Cardiac effects include dyspnea, palpitations, and chest pain.
Do not give to patients with severe cardiac disease or to patients who are acutely psychotic.
Serious Side Effects: Can cause elevated liver function tests and even hepatitis. Can cause peripheral neuropathy and optic neuritis.
Side Effects: drowsiness, fatigue, headache, acne, sexual dysfunction, neuropathy, transient transaminitis (30%)
1° MOA: Irreversibly inhibits the oxidation of acetaldehyde, causing a considerable increase in acetaldehyde concentrations following ethanol ingestion, i.e. DER
2° MOA: ↑'s [DA] by ↓ the DA-catabolizing enyzme, dopamine β-hydroxylase
Target: Aldehyde dehydrogenase, Dopamine β-hydroxylase
t½: 90 (60-120)° TMAX: 4-8°
Substrate of: CYP3A4, 3A5, 2B6, 2E1, FMO
Inhibits: 2E1; 1A2 & 3A4 (w/ chronic use); Induces:
Active Metabolites: DDC, Me-DDC
  • - do not combine with: metronidazole, paraldehyde, isoniazid, or any OTC medications that contain small amounts of alcohol, i.e. cough syrups, Nyquil
  • - as a 2E1 inhibitor, can increase levels of 2E1 substrates (e.g. theophylline, halogenated inhalational anesthetic agents)
  • - disulfiram is a prodrug
  • - due to its long long t½, avoid alcohol for up to 14 days after treatment has been stopped
  • - alcohol is rapidly metabolized, so patients can take their first dose 12 hours after their last drink
  • - common advice to patients: "You'll wish you were dead but it won't kill you."
Special Populations

Category C—The lack of teratogenicity in animals and the absence of a clustering of similar birth defects in human pregnancies exposed to disulfiram suggest that this drug is not a major human teratogen. Obviously, women taking disulfiram should not drink alcohol, but this is occasionally the case because of the findings of fetal alcohol syndrome and defects that are suggestive of fetal alcohol exposure.

No reports describing the use of disulfiram during lactation have been located. Because of the relatively low molecular weight, excretion into milk should be expected. The potential effect of this exposure on a nursing infant is unknown.

Cardiovascular tolerance decreases with age, thus increasing severity of alcohol reactions

Contraindicated in severe renal disease

If baseline transaminase levels are normal or only moderately elevated (less than five times the upper limit of normal), use with careful monitoring of liver function.


Developed & Designed by Kevin M. Nasky, D.O. • Built with Bootstrap, PHP & MySQL • Hosted by SiteGround
Last updated February 29 2024 20:54:18. Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice, nor is it a substitute for clinical judgment.