This is the second part of the disulfiram or TETD article we started last month. As most of you probably knows, disulfiram is a medical alcoholism treatment that make the patient sick when drinking alcohol. The purpose is to make him or her ‘hate’ alcohol. In this second part of the article we are going to take a closer look at disulfiram or TETD side effects and fortunately, these are relatively limited. This remedy has been used by millions of people for fifty years now, and very few side effects have been reported. Most of the known side effects have been seen only in extreme or special cases. The side effects we have listed below are not common and should therefore be looked upon as worst-case scenarios. Conclusive, we can say that TETD is a pretty safe and side-effect free alcoholism treatment.
The most common TETD site effect is drowsiness. For about one in every twenty disulfiram users, some general drowsiness occurs in the first couple of months. In cases where it does occur, it usually only lasts a couple of weeks. The drowsiness is rarely bad, but if it is, the dosage can be decreased for a short period of time, until the body gets adjusted to it. If there are any other minor side effects, cutting the dosage in half for a couple of weeks is effective.
However, disulfiram has one serious side effect. For patients with any sign of liver trouble or hepatitis, TETD must immediately be stopped. This is very important.
For any kind of drug, there will always be a few odd reactions for a very small number of users. In some fairly isolated cases, patients on TETD have experienced asthenia, dyspnea, hypertension, vasodilatation, sweating, problems with their taste buds, impotence, dizziness, neurological problems, amblyopia and ataxia. I must emphasize that such sases are very rare, but it is worth mentioning.
All drugs interacts with others, so it is very important when taking TETD to make sure any other medications you are taking are okay. Disulfiram (branded as Antabus, Aversan and more) reacts with certain drugs in adverse ways, in particular Dilantin (also called phenytoin). As always, you should consult your physician and make sure there will not be any problems. In many cases, it is just a matter of adjusting dosage.
Any patient who takes TETD must be clearly informed about what will happen if he or she drinks. There is a special informed consent form that have to be signed by the patient. If you are interested in trying TETD, the first step will be a thorough prescreening, including a physical, clood count, SMA-12 Profile, electrocardiogram, electrolyte analysis, urine study, complete medical history and phychiatric examination. Using TETD is a serious alcoholism treatment, and it must be determined to be safe before the process can begin. After the consent form is signed and all the pre-screening is evaluated and determined to be safe, you are free to start taking TETD.
The common dosage of TETD is 500 mg per day, but the doctor will probably start you out at 250 mg for the first week or so, and then up the dosage. This will give your body a chance to get used to it. But do not forget, TETD is only part of the rehabilitation process. It also includes attending meetings and learning to cope with your drinking problems.
During the alcoholism treatment process, you will not have to return to the doctor unless a problem develops. You will have to go back for another SMA-12 after a few weeks of being treated with TETD, but after that you are finished. Make sure that if you think there is any indication of liver trouble, you stop taking TETD immediately.
If you have trouble with TETD, another safe and effective option is Metronidazole (also called Flagyl). Flagyl is more suitable if you suffer from heart problems, phychosis, cerebral damage, or if you are pregnant.
Metronidazole or Flagyl is very similar to disulfiram or TETD. The severity of reaction to alcohol is different though. Metronidazole has a much milder reaction, which make it safer for some alcoholism patients. However, it gives some ‘rush’ when combined with alcohol and this is the reason some patients have abused it.
David Richards is a publisher of articles on alcoholism articles.
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