Dr. Charles Sophy, explains how antabuse (disulfiram) is used in helping with treatment of alcoholism. Antabuse comes in pill form and is required to be taken every day for it to be effective. Antabuse works by preventing the clearance of alcohol in the body after drinking. This results in a buildup of alcohol in the blood and causes the effects of nausea, vomiting, headaches and other unpleasant side-effects. These uncomfortable side effects are sometimes enough to keep individuals from drinking.
Dr. Sophy believes antabuse can positively affect the outcome of alcoholism treatment with up to 50% success rates in some countries when combined with regular treatment. However he believes antabuse is not often utilized as it should be in the United States of America, where it is not often prescribed for those recovering from alcoholism like it is in other countries.
Use of antabuse will often prevent patients from drinking; fearing the ill/sick effects the alcohol will produce. However Dr. Sophy says that if a patient is determined to continue to drink on antabuse in large amounts then the negative side-effects can lead to death.