Compatibility of Disulfiram and Alcohol

In many countries, the abuse of alcoholic beverages is not uncommon. People drink from sorrow and with joy, on holidays and on weekdays. They drink beer and energy drinks, fortified wines and vodka. It is often possible to see a bottle of beer in the hands of adolescents, including girls. All this leads to problems at work, to quarrels in the family, to a huge number of different diseases, to a general deterioration in health status and to a shortening of life expectancy.

Effects of Disulfiram

At certain moments in life, many begin to realize the harm of alcohol on their example, to think about treatment. Is there any effective remedy for this disease? Can Alcoholism Be Cured? Not everyone can refuse to drink alcohol on their own. And the result of treatment largely depends on this. To get rid of alcohol addiction, many medications and techniques are used. Quite widely known is the "Disulfiram". He is often appointed wishing to improve his health. What do you need to know about this drug and how to use disulfiram properly?

Disulfiram and Alcohol Effects

This drug, also known as the Antabuse and Esperal, acts in the body on the processes of ethanol metabolism, reduces them and causes a sharp toxic reaction to the alcohol taken by a person. After a while, a reflex to the use of any products containing alcohol can form. Getting into the human body alcohol is oxidized and rendered harmless by the action of substances such as acetic acid and acetaldehyde.

The level of acetaldehyde in the blood increases after taking each dose of alcohol. This causes poisoning with toxins, which is manifested in redness of the face and neck, pressure decreases, tachycardia can begin, inexplicable fear and general weakness arise.

Treatment usually includes the presence of alcohol. He develops a negative reaction to taking alcohol. It is expressed in acute intolerance of taste, smell and type of alcohol. For treatment from craving for alcohol, disulfiram is used in tablet form. Each tablet is valid for 2 days. The embedded disulfiram implant is valid for 6-9 months.

If during this period the alcohol gets into the stomach in any form, the concentration of disulfiram raises in the blood, the person again experiences very unpleasant consequences of taking alcohol.

Mechanisms of alcohol metabolism

alcohol metabolism

The process of alcohol metabolism in the body is provided by enzymes:

  1. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which converts ethanol to acetaldehyde, which is a very toxic substance.
  2. Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDG), which converts acetaldehyde to acetic acid, which through the kidneys is easily and easily removed from the human body.

Different people have different genes that affect the metabolism of ethanol. Some process ethanol and convert it into acetaldehyde very quickly, others - 90 times slower.

As a result, some people almost do not get drunk and do not get used to drinking alcohol, in others everything is exactly the opposite. Therefore, alcoholics are not all.

Poisonous acetaldehyde is not only a product of the transformation of alcohol under the action of ADH, it enters into large quantities in the composition of tobacco smoke.

There is much evidence of the carcinogenicity of this substance. Studies conducted by scientists on 818 alcoholics, showed that the risk of occurrence and development of cancer of the liver and stomach is higher in those people who were more exposed to the harmful effects of acetaldehyde.

Compatibility of Disulfiram and Alcohol

Disulfiram is absorbed 80-90% after taking the tablet inside. In this case, a person can feel a taste that resembles the taste of garlic or metal. The use of ethanol in the composition of alcohol becomes impossible during the period of disulfiram.

There are extremely unpleasant conditions that threaten health. It begins approximately 5-8 minutes after the use of a dose of alcohol. Redness of the skin due to vasodilation, severe pulsating headache, dryness in the mouth, dizziness, vomiting, and weakness can develop into chest pains, severe dyspnea. Less common is confusion, hypotension.

alcohol with disulfiram

Fatalities have been recorded after taking approximately 500 mg of disulfiram against the background of alcohol taken. Therefore, the drug is prescribed usually only after complete relief of the withdrawal syndrome, after carrying out detoxification activities. Most often it is recommended to take the drug in the morning. At this time it is easier to stop drinking alcohol.

In some patients, disulfiram causes drowsiness. In this case, it is recommended to take it before going to bed. The most effective and yet safe dose is established in each case individually. This is done only by an experienced medical specialist. Doses that exceed the norms known to doctors can cause serious side effects.

When the optimal dose is selected, you should strictly follow the recommendations for taking tablets. A regular blood test is performed and liver function is monitored. It is recommended to do this every 6 months. Do not use disulfiram in any form of pregnant women.

The effect is given only by the treatment that is carried out under control. This has been proved by many experiments. For example: from a group of patients who took the prescribed disulfiram uncontrollably, after a maximum of 3 months treatment was abandoned by virtually all participants in the group. In another group, there was constant monitoring of the drug taken by the wives of patients. Almost all patients achieved complete abstinence from taking alcohol for at least 6 months.

From the 126 patients with alcohol dependence, some took disulfiram, the other part - placebo. The experiment lasted 6 months under control.

After that, alcohol consumption decreased by 80% in the group taking disulfiram, 55% in the group taking the placebo. 45% of the subjects admitted that they did not always follow the recommendations for taking drugs. A number of studies have convincingly proved that the effect is achieved only when taking tablets under the control of the outside.

Doctors and many patients consider disulfiram an effective remedy, which has the ability to restrain oneself from drinking alcohol. Some patients take the pill if there is a risk of relapse.

Disulfiram implants do not produce the expected results because they are not able to maintain the optimal dosage of the drug.

Disulfiram Side effects

There are many data on the side effects of the action of disulfiram. The most significant of these is the drug-induced liver disease. This side effect may cause the development of FPN (fulminant liver failure). But it happens rarely. More often develops acute hepatitis, polyneuritis, psychosis, there is an individual intolerance to tablets.

All these side effects occur with the use of even small doses of alcohol. The most common case is drowsiness, an increase in liver enzymes. Hepatic decompensation with a fatal outcome occurs with a frequency of 1 for every 30,000 patients.

Disulfiram should not be taken by pregnant women and people suffering from coronary heart disease. It should be avoided by diabetics and people with various mental disorders, except for schizophrenia.

In the survey to identify side effects, 50 people took part. The study lasted 2 months. The following were noted:

  • Drowsiness, fatigue, headache - in 47 people.
  • Metallic or garlic taste in the mouth - in 37 people.
  • Reduction of sexual activity - in 19 people.
  • Decreased memory - in 14 patients.
  • Darkening of the urine - in 10 patients.
  • Toxic liver damage - in 6 patients.
  • Jaundice - in 4 patients.
  • Allergic reactions of a serious nature - in 3 patients.

An occurrence of side effects can provoke not only alcoholic drinks but also wine vinegar, an elixir from a cough, various bronchodilators, Valocordin, nitroglycerin. Usually, the reaction occurs 5-10 minutes after taking alcohol. The climax comes in 20-30 minutes. Continues all up to 3 hours. In the best case, the troubles pass in an hour. With a mild side effect, the patient may feel a slight euphoria. The average degree is characterized by the appearance of depression and a sense of fear of death, the pulse increases to 120 beats per minute.

The heaviest degree - when the patient comes to complete apathy, he is overcome by lethargy, weakness, drowsiness. There is a strong dizziness, chills, headache, vomiting, convulsions. Skin pale, breathing quickens, a smell of smoked fish appears from the mouth. Seizures and death may occur. In all these cases, immediately flush the patient's stomach, remove the remnants of alcohol, give a laxative, call a doctor.

The use of disulfiram in the treatment of alcoholism is an effective way to combat this disease. But at the same time, many factors need to be taken into account: control over the correctness and regularity of medication, a differentiated approach to each patient, and a conscious attitude of the patient to treatment. Only, in this case, it is possible to achieve significant results.