Powered by


                    Home  |  Forums  |  Humor  |  Advertising  |  Contact
   Ask a Doctor

   News via RSS







   Forum Archives





















   Primary Care






   Other Sections


   Research Tools

   Medical Tutorials

   Medical Software




Back to Psychiatry Drug Index

Back to Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Inhibitors

Name: Disulfiram

Pregnancy Category C

Drug classes

  • Antialcoholic
  • Enzyme inhibitor

Mechanisms of action

Inhibits the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase, blocking oxidation of alcohol and allowing acetaldehyde to accumulate to concentrations in the blood 5-10 times higher than normally achieved during alcohol metabolism; accumulation of acetaldehyde produces the highly unpleasant reaction described below that deters consumption of alcohol.


Aids in the management of selected chronic alcoholics who want to remain in a state of enforced sobriety


Contraindicated in the presence of allergy to disulfiram or other thiuram derivatives used in pesticides and rubber vulcanization, severe myocardial disease or coronary occlusion; psychoses, current or recent treatment with metrondiazole, paraldehyde, alcohol, alcohol-containing preparations (eg, cough syrups, tonics).

Use caution in the presence of diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, cerebral damage, chronic and acute nephritis, hepatic cirrhosis or dysfunction.

Adverse effects

Disulfiram-alcohol reaction: Flushing, throbbing in head and neck, throbbing headaches, respiratory difficulty, nausea, copious vomiting, sweating, thirst, chest pain, palpitations, dyspnea, hyperventilation, tachycardia, hypotension, syncope, weakness, vertigo, blurred vision, confusion; severe reactions may include arrhythmias, cardiovascular collapse, acute congestive heart failure, unconsciousness, convulsions, myocardial infarction, death

Adverse Effects of Disulfiram

  • CNS: Drowsiness, fatigability, headache, restlessness, peripheral neuropathy, optic or retrobulbar neuritis
  • GI: Metallic or garliclike aftertaste, hepatotoxicity
  • Dermatologic: Skin eruptions, anceiform eruptions, allergic dermatitis
advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

Are you a doctor or a nurse?

Do you want to join the Doctors Lounge online medical community?

Participate in editorial activities (publish, peer review, edit) and give a helping hand to the largest online community of patients.

Click on the link below to see the requirements:

Doctors Lounge Membership Application


 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)



We subscribe to the HONcode principles of the HON Foundation. Click to verify.
We subscribe to the HONcode principles. Verify here

Privacy Statement | Terms & Conditions | Editorial Board | About us
Copyright 2001-2012 DoctorsLounge. All rights reserved.