Administration And Dosage

Disulfiram should be administered only by a physician and is given by mouth in tablet form. It should never be given until the patient has abstained from alcohol for at least 12 hours, and preferably for 48 hours. The dose is usually 250 or 500 milligrams daily. Some patients report not experiencing a DER with smaller doses, so larger doses may be required. Clinical experience indicates, however, that doses larger than 500 milligrams are accompanied by a greater risk of serious side effects. A problem that limits the effectiveness of disulfiram is that patients frequently stop taking the medication. To prevent this, disulfiram tablets sometimes have been implanted just below the skin of the abdominal wall. This technique, however, has been shown to be ineffective (Johnsen et al., 1987) because the absorption of the implanted disulfiram is erratic and poor, resulting in very low blood levels of disulfiram and a weak or no DER.

Patients should take disulfiram only under careful medical and nursing supervision. They should be warned that as long as they are taking the drug, ingesting alcohol in any form will make them sick and may endanger their life. Patients should be taught to recognize and avoid disguised forms of alcohol such as cough syrups, mouthwashes, some sauces, fermented vinegar, and even aftershave lotion or rubbing alcohol. In addition, patients should be taught to recognize the signs of disturbed liver function (jaundiced eyeballs or skin, nausea or pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, dark urine, clay-colored stool) and report them at once to their doctor.

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Vinegar For Your Health

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