Disulfiram dosage, uses and mode of action

Disulfiram dosage, uses and mode of action

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Disulfiram is the most known prescribed medication for a person suffering from alcoholism. It works as a treatment for alcohol dependence. This psychiatry agent shows its effect by ensuring abstinence.

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Normally, disulfiram medication comes in tablet forms. It may be used alone or with other medications as per physician advice. The effect of disulfiram is quite different from other drugs. it produces a disulfiram-ethanol reaction, the person who intake even a small amount of alcohol after taking disulfiram.


How to use the disulfiram?


It comes in tablet form which you take orally as prescribed by your physician. Disulfiram usually causes drowsiness. so, it should be advised to take it at bedtime daily. 


The main point is that whenever you take disulfiram, take this medicine as directed. Though if you have any doubt then ask your doctor confidently.  And don’t forget to take it regularly.


The recommended daily dose of disulfiram is 500 milligrams. And if you don’t want to swallow then grind it and mix it up with the smoothies.


What is the mode of action of this drug?


Disulfiram expresses its mode of action by creating a disulfiram-ethanol reaction. Here the medicine is an aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor. It creates an obstacle in the metabolism of alcohol. As a result, the level of aldehyde increases in the blood.

The severe accumulation of aldehydes in the blood gives rise to a rapid, violently unpleasant reaction. It is the disulfiram- ethanol reaction. The intensity varies from individual to individual. In this, the reaction is directly proportional to the amount of disulfiram and the amount of alcohol taken. 

The total duration of this reaction is from 30 mins to several hours. It is more severe in some cases and shows the reaction until the alcohol present in the blood.


Symptoms of a disulfiram-ethanol reaction

  • Flushing
  • Throbbing
  • Headache
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Nausea
  • Copious vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Convulsion
  • Tachycardia
  • Blurred vision
  • Severe anxiety


Description of disulfiram


It belongs to a class of psychiatric agents and also an alcohol antagonist drug. The chemical name of this drug is -bis( dimethylthiocarbamoyl disulfide).


Structural formula

sources; Wikipedia

Storage and disposal 


Keep this medicine out of reach from the children. It is not child-resistant and creates poisoning. so, tightly closed the cap and placed it on the upper shelves.


Store the medication at room temperature. Do Not expose it to sunlight and excess moisture. These medications that have not come into use should be disposed of through a medicine take-back program.


What is the dosage?


The dosage of this medication is of two types;

  • Initial dosage
  • Maintenance regimen


Initial dosage


In initial dosage. 500 mg is given daily.  Administer in a single dose for one to two weeks. And never administer the medication until the person has abstained from alcohol for at least 12 hours.


It is usually given in the morning. But, due to the sedative effect, the doctor recommended taking it at bedtime.


Maintenance regimen


The average maintenance regimen dose is 250 mg daily. It ranges from 125mg to 500 mg. Keep in mind that the daily dose of this medication does not exceed 500 mg daily.  


How long has this therapy been continued?

It is given daily without any interruption until the alcoholic patient is fully overcome from alcoholism. But the maintenance therapy has continued for a long time.


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