Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Disulfiram Reaction: How Antabuse Can help you Stop Drinking

For about half a century antabuse or Disulfiram has been used by alcoholics to quit the habit. Currently, around 200,000 alcohol users are into the pill occasionally, with a view to stay sober. Disulfiram reaction was discovered effective in treatment of alcohol dependency and abuse by the United State’s Food and Drug Administration years ago.
Alcohol: Disulfiram helps you Stay Sober

Antabuse has been ascertained as important to those desiring to quit alcohol intake through the effect of the Disulfiram reaction reached if one takes alcohol while taking antabuse. In most cases, an alcoholic is first treated by stopping the habit of alcohol drinking followed by detoxification and later a sober period, mandatory if the brain functioning and chemistry would return to normal. Antabuse is very effective during the initial consumption, aiding the user to avoid drinking. Most important, a patient must continue Disulfiram intake in the next one year to help against cases of relapsing. A loved one or friend can help to make sure the alcoholic is using the medication as prescribed. 

The Disulfiram reaction usually manifests some severe and mild reactions. This is because while taking antabuse, there is an occurrence of acetaldehyde in vast concentrations, depending on the amount of alcohol and Disulfiram consumed. None is pleasant.  Severe symptoms include:
§  Respiratory Depression
§  Cardiovascular Collapse
§  Myocardial Infarction
§  Acute Heart Failure with manifested Congestion
§  Convulsions
§  Arrhythmias
§  Death
The reaction also triggers mild reactions such as flushing, thirst, confusion, blurred vision, vertigo, hypotension, chest pain, throbbing headache, marked uneasiness, sweating, nausea, dyspnea, Syncope, hyperventilation, respiratory difficulty, copious vomiting and tachycardia. 

How Disulfiram Reaction Works
After consumption of alcohol, the body metabolizes it into acetaldehyde, a substance known to be toxic and occasions vast hangover symptoms among alcoholics. In normal cases, the body perpetuates the process by oxidizing the acetaldehyde compound into a harmless one known as acetic acid.
Once antabuse is brought into the equation, it interferes with the process, where this metabolism is stopped after formation of acetaldehyde while preventing acetaldehyde oxidation that results into acetic acid. Due to this, Disulfiram causes 5-10 times acetaldehyde build up more than what is produced after a round of alcohol consumption.
The effectiveness of the Disulfiram reaction in helping to quit alcohol abuse is affected by the use of medication. Antabuse is usually administered in the form of a pill, one a day and alcoholics could indeed cut the medication and revert to alcoholism a couple of days later.
Nonetheless, use of Disulfiram should be stressed since research on users of the drug in European nations has laid bare the fact that its usage has helped many to quit drinking with rates of abstinence hitting 50 percent. Antabuse is more effective the longer it is used by helping alcoholics cultivate a no drinking habit over time. 

Who Should Use Disulfiram
Only those individuals who want to stop taking alcohol and are aware of all the reactions and consequences that occur during antabuse usage should be allowed to use it. It should not be forced to anyone with or without his or her knowledge, intoxicated or not.
Those with histories of severe allergic reactions to antabuse, psychosis or heart disease should not take it, as well as those pregnant.

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