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Independent expert answers
on psychiatry and psychology

Antabuse/Disulfiram

Abstract: A medicine which causes unpleasant symptoms if you drink alcohol. Should only be prescribed by a doctor.

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Antabuse/Disulfiram

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Written by: Wendy Moelker, Psychologist in charge, tutor, Emergis center for mental health care, Goes, the Netherlands.
First version: 25 Nov 2006.
Latest revision: 04 Dec 2006.

Antabuse is a medicine that can only be prescribed by a doctor or psychiatrist after an exam. The use of Antabuse in combination with the use of alcohol results in all kinds of toxic and aversive reactions. This leads to unpleasant symptoms, like a sensation of heat in the face and neck, headache, flushing, nausea, vomiting, hypertension and anxiety. Also chest pain, seizures, liver dysfunction, respiratory problems and even death can occur. So when using Antabuse, alcohol consumption is absolutely forbidden, not even in the form of cough medicine. Antabuse is being used as a deterrent.

Other medication for alcoholism: Naltrexone

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