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Treating Alcoholism with Antabuse

What's on this page

    There are multiple medications currently on the market that have shown to assist in the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse. Whereas these drugs can help to lessen cravings, there has yet to be a medication to completely eradicate the mental obsession and cravings of an individual with drug or alcohol addiction.

    Antabuse is a prescription medication that is designed to help someone who wants to quit drinking alcohol. The drug is effective because of the effect that the drug takes when alcohol enters the body. Essentially this is a medication based on fear.

    What Does Antabuse Do?

    When an individual drinks alcohol when on Antabuse they experience some if not all of the following effects:

    • Nausea and Vomiting
    • Chest Pains
    • Difficulty in Breathing
    • Intense Headache
    • Intense Neck Pains
    • Vertigo
    • Blurred Vision
    • Confusion
    • Hypotension
    • Hyperventilation
    • Sweating
    • Thirst
    • Physical Weakness

    These are the mild effects. The intensity of the effects is contingent upon the dose of Antabuse taken and the amount of alcohol ingested into the body. The severe reactions to taking in alcohol while on Antabuse are:

    • Respiratory Depression
    • Unconsciousness
    • Myocardial Infarction
    • Cardiovascular Collapse
    • Acute Congestive Heart Failure
    • Arrhythmias
    • Convulsions
    • Death

    How Does Antabuse Work?

    When alcohol is broken down by the metabolism it becomes a toxic substance called acetaldehyde. The acetaldehyde is what causes the discomfort of a hangover which many people have experienced at one point or another. As the body continues to break down this substance it becomes acetic acid which is not toxic at all and easily flushable. Antabuse interrupts this natural process and stops the body from turning the acetaldehyde into acetic acid. Also the Antabuse causes a build up resulting in up to ten times the regular level of acetaldehyde. Imagine taking a sip of wine and immediately experiencing the worst hangover of your life.

    Antabuse Side Effects

    The most obvious possible side effects of Antabuse are the effects that are produced when Alcohol enters the body. Side effects when no alcohol is present are rare, and if at all very mild. Common side effects are drowsiness, headache, and a metallic or garlic taste in the mouth. Severe allergic reactions include but are not limited to, rashes, hives, difficulty in breathing, tightness of chest, and swelling of the face. Seek immediate medical attention if severe side effects occur.

    How Well Does Antabuse Work?

    Antabuse does what it is meant to do. And for the individual who wants to stop drinking and takes the pill as prescribed, it shows amazing results. However, Antabuse does not help the cravings, it helps with the impulsiveness that usually incites the first drink. The problem is that the individual can simply stop taking the pill and then drink a few days later.