Pregnancy Category C
- 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.
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
Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?
Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community
Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.
Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.