Disulfiram is used along with counselling and support to treat alcoholism. Disulfiram works by blocking the processing of alcohol in the body. This causes you to have a bad reaction when you drink alcohol.
Even small amounts of alcohol can produce unpleasant symptoms while disulfiram is in your body. These symptoms include flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling) sweating, increased thirst, swelling, rapid weight gain nausea, severe vomiting neck pain, throbbing headache, blurred vision chest pain, shortness of breath (even with mild exertion) fast or pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest confusion, weakness, spinning sensation, feeling unsteady or a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out. More severe symptoms may occur when disulfiram and large amounts of alcohol are used together, such as severe chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, slow heart rate, weak pulse, seizure, fainting, weak or shallow breathing, or slow breathing (breathing may stop). A disulfiram-alcohol reaction can be fatal.
• Disulfiram+amprenavir- Using amprenavir and disulfiram is not recommended. The oral solution of amprenavir contains a high percentage of alcohol. When alcohol is combined with disulfiram there is a possibility of side effects such as flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and thirst. Avoid drinking alcohol while using amprenavir oral solution.
• Disulfiram+leflunomide- Leflunomide may cause liver problems, and using it with other medications that can also affect the liver such as disulfiram may increase that risk. Because leflunomide can stay in your blood for a prolonged period after the last dose, interactions with other drugs may occur for some time even after you have stopped taking it. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications.
• Disulfiram+lomitapide- Lomitapide may cause liver problems, and using it with other medications that can also affect the liver such as disulfiram may increase that risk. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol to no more than one drink per day while being treated with these medications.
• Disulfiram+mipomersen- Mipomersen may cause liver problems, and using it with other medications that can also affect the liver such as disulfiram may increase that risk. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol to no more than one drink per day while being treated with these medications.
• Disulfiram+tipranavir- Ask your doctor before using disulfiram together with tipranavir. Tipranavir capsules contain alcohol, which can produce severe reactions when taken with disulfiram. This can cause flushing, fast heartbeats, nausea, thirst, chest pain, vertigo, and lo
MECHANISM OF ACTION:
Disulfiram belongs to a family of medicines called aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitors. When alcohol is consumed, it is converted into a chemical called aldehyde by natural breakdown process, this chemical is further broken down by the chemical (enzyme) aldehyde dehydrogenase thereby allowing alcohol to be excreted. Disulfiram stops this enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase causing an increase in the blood levels of aldehydes. As a result, the person on alcohol gets very unpleasant reactions (also known as aldehyde syndrome) such as flushing, burning sensation, throbbing headache, perspiration, uneasiness, tightness in chest, dizziness, vomiting, visual disturbances, mental confusion, postural fainting and circulatory collapse which last for nearly 1-4 hours (depending upon the quantity of alcohol intake). Sensitivity to alcohol is developed which lasts for a long period of time, as a result the person experiences unpleasant reactions upon consuming alcohol even days after stopping disulfiram.