The drug "Disulfiram" for fighting alcoholism

Specialists engaged in research and treatment of various addictions, have long ceased to consider alcoholism simply a bad habit. This is a serious enough disease requiring qualified medical intervention. Therefore, it is almost impossible to cope with this problem on its own without taking special medications.

Today there are 3 types of medicines that help to cope with alcohol dependence:

  • medicines for removing symptoms of a hangover;
  • drugs that disgust alcohol;
  • means that reduce cravings for alcohol.

Next, we will consider what means should be taken for aversion to alcohol.

The drug Disulfiram, causing a human aversion to alcohol

Disulfiram for fighting alcoholism

The most popular and effective drug that causes aversion to alcoholic beverages is Disulfiram, which acts as a sensitizing agent, that is, when it is taken, it develops a hypersensitivity to alcohol and its intolerance in cases of alcohol into the blood. On the basis of this medication, such agents have been manufactured that cause aversion to alcoholic beverages: Teturam, Esperal, Antabuse, and others.

Disulfiram principle of action

After taking this drug, more than 75% of its active elements are absorbed inside, turning into an organism into minic acid, blocking metal ions and sulfhydryl groups of enzymes that are directly involved in the processing of ethanol. ALDG (acetaldehydrogenase) also belongs to such enzymes. With it, the toxic acetaldehyde is converted into harmless acetic acid, which is easily removed from the human body through the kidneys.

Therefore, when using disulfiram, alcohol consumption becomes physically impossible due to the appearance of very unpleasant, health-threatening conditions associated with the accumulation of acetaldehyde. A kind of chemical defense of the body is being developed, counteracting the further use of alcohol, which leads to hyperemia, tachycardia, shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting.

A few minutes after drinking alcohol, a person taking this drug to disgust alcohol, he has a fever, and after a while - hyperemia of the body, caused by the expansion of blood vessels. All this is accompanied by a severe headache. In more severe situations, pain in the chest, confusion and severe hypotension are possible.

Application of Disulfiram

Treatment with the drug is prescribed only on condition that the patient himself wants to get rid of alcohol dependence, agrees to take the pill and is able to do it. This drug, which causes a strong aversion to alcohol, is not prescribed to patients who periodically experience suicidal thoughts and psychoses.

Also, there should be no medical contraindications, namely: pregnancy, kidney failure, liver dysfunction of various severity, cardiovascular diseases. Patients should understand the full dangers of drinking during treatment. It is necessary to exclude any kind of alcohol, including beer, cough syrups and even after shave lotions.

Before starting the use of disulfiram for alcohol aversion, a complete detoxification of the body should be carried out. In most cases, the drug is prescribed at 250 mg/day and taken in the morning, when it is easiest to refrain from alcohol. If the medicine causes drowsiness, then it is better to use it before going to bed.

The most optimal and safe dose of disulfiram is not established. Doses in excess of 250 mg/day can lead to serious consequences. If the side effects do not allow you to take the medicine in the prescribed dose, then it can be reduced to 100 mg/day.

After the dose is selected, you must strictly adhere to the regimen of taking the drug. Every 3-6 months you need to do a general blood test and monitor the liver.

Side effects of Disulfiram

Side effects of Disulfiram

This drug causes quite a lot of side effects. Among those that are due to the properties of disulfiram, it is worth highlighting:

  • metallic taste in the mouth;
  • rare cases of hepatitis;
  • polyneuritis of the lower extremities;
  • optic neuritis;
  • skin allergic manifestations, etc.

When you drink alcohol together with this medicine, you can:

  • respiratory insufficiency;
  • disturbances in the work of the heart;
  • cardiovascular collapse;
  • in rare cases, myocardial infarction, cerebral edema, coma.

With the use of vodka more than 70 ml at a time, severe disorders of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, convulsions, edema can develop. In these cases, it is necessary to make a complete detoxification of the body as soon as possible. Despite severe side effects, the drug causes aversion to alcohol.