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Motivated to quit drinking considering antabuse

Resolved Question:

Should I take antabuse?

Category: Psychiatrist

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Thanks for choosing doctor spring for posting your query.

I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through.

Alcohol dependence is a very common problem. Although it takes efforts to treat it but the best part is that you are motivated to leave alcohol. The basic problem while leaving alcohol is a withdrawal that you will experience. The withdrawal may be mild or severe . If its a mild withdrawal then you need not worry and you can leave the alcohol abruptly. You just have to bear with the symptoms. If the withdrawal is severe with extreme shakiness, and irrelevant talk with disorientation then you you no option otherthan getting admitted and starting yourself on benzodiazepines. That will be a minimum of 7 days admission with loss of work. Once you are sober, then there are plenty of good drugs such as naltrexone or baclofen which can reduce your craving for alcohol.

Antabuse is disulfiram and it was used very frequently before. Now it is considered as potentially dangerous to use it and it has not shown good results. So it is not a prefered agent.

Hope I am able to answer your concerns.
Please feel free to ask followup questions.

Thank you

Patient replied :

I have quit drinking many times, and I do get a craving but I also love to drink, I hate to drink, but my actions, prove that I want to do it, even though I just want to stop.
Please help me!!!!!!!!!
What should I do?

Thanks for your follow-up.

Once you are abstinent for say 7 days there are plenty of options which can reduce your craving as well chances of relapse. Some of the examples are Naltrexone, fluoxetine, baclofen, etc. Ant abuse can be tried but it is not considered safe. Moreover you always have an option of skipping the dose to get prepared for a drink party at night. Hope you understand.

Stop alcohol all of a sudden, and if you are able to tolerate withdrawal symptoms meet a psychiatrist who would like to provide you a prescription of an anti-craving medication.

Hope that helps, please feel free to discuss further.
Dr. Srikanth Reddy

Patient replied :

I was reading on the internet and there were some studies about Zofran helping with cravings and I was wondering if you had any information about that drug. Also I was wondering if benzodiazepines help with just the alcohol withdrawal shakes or if they do more to help.


Yes Zofran is one of the medication which reduces the craving but it is not a front line medications.Infact other medications are better. Gradual benzodiazepine tapering off reduces the withdrawal symptoms but will not be effective for reducing dependence. In short you are right in stating that it will only reduce shakes.

Dr. Srikanth Reddy

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