Do not drink any alcohol, even small amounts, while you are taking this medicine and for 14 days after you stop taking it, because the alcohol may make you very sick. In addition to beverages, alcohol is found in many other products. Reading the list of ingredients on foods and other products before using them will help you to avoid alcohol. You can also avoid alcohol if you:
- Do not use alcohol-containing foods, products, or medicines, such as elixirs, tonics, sauces, vinegars, cough syrups, mouth washes, or gargles.
- Do not come in contact with or breathe in the fumes of chemicals that may contain alcohol, acetaldehyde, paraldehyde, or other related chemicals, such as paint thinner, paint, varnish, or shellac.
- Use caution when using alcohol-containing products that are applied to the skin, such as some transdermal (stick-on patch) medicines or rubbing alcohol, back rubs, after-shave lotions, colognes, perfumes, toilet waters, or after-bath preparations. Using such products while you are taking disulfiram may cause headache, nausea, or local redness or itching because the alcohol in these products may be absorbed into your body. Before using alcohol-containing products on your skin, first test the product by applying some to a small area of your skin. Allow the product to remain on your skin for 1 or 2 hours. If no redness, itching, or other unwanted effects occur, you should be able to use the product.
- Do not use any alcohol-containing products on raw skin or open wounds.
Check with your doctor if you have any questions.
Some of the symptoms you may experience if you use any alcohol while taking this medicine are:
- Blurred vision
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or fainting
- Fast or pounding heartbeat
- Flushing or redness of face
- Increased sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Throbbing headache
- Troubled breathing
These symptoms will last as long as there is any alcohol left in your system, from 30 minutes to several hours. On rare occasions, if you have a severe reaction or have taken a large enough amount of alcohol, a heart attack, unconsciousness, convulsions (seizures), and death may occur.
Your doctor may want you to carry an identification card stating that you are using this medicine. This card should list the symptoms most likely to occur if alcohol is taken, and the doctor, clinic, or hospital to be contacted in case of an emergency. These cards may be available from the manufacturer. Ask your health care professional if you have any questions about this.
If you will be taking this medicine for a long period of time (for example, for several months at a time), your doctor should check your progress at regular visits.
Before buying or using any liquid prescription or nonprescription medicine, check with your pharmacist to see if it contains any alcohol.
This medicine may cause some people to become drowsy or less alert than they are normally. If this occurs, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert .
Disulfiram will add to the effects of other CNS depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system, possibly causing drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine .