Myths and Facts About Disulfiram (Esperal, Antabuse, Antabus, Teturam etc)

To cope with daily stress, a person can become addicted to almost anything, but most often alcohol, gambling, drugs, shopping, work or sex. Depending on the addictive consequences and how one lives with them, the addicts shape his or her future life, or try to limit or end the disruptive addictions. Unfortunately, one of the most common uncontrollable addictions is alcoholism. What to do if a person notices problems caused by alcoholism? Disulfiram implant suturing has been known for many years and has become even more popular in the form of Esperal tablets.


Myth: Esperal is a remedy for alcohol cravings.
It is not true. Esperal, the active substance in disulfiram, is not able to reduce the craving for alcohol. This drug is applied by the doctor in aversive therapy, that is, to cause negative associations with alcohol after its use. The medicine immediately causes a severe hangover, which is caused by the release of the enzyme during the digestion of alcohol. The body, which is unable to digest and excrete alcohol and its metabolites, is poisoned by the accumulation of toxic acetaldehyde. Esperal does not suppress the craving for alcohol, but helps to gain additional motivation to fight alcoholism.

Fact: The reaction of disulfiram with alcohol is dangerous to health.
A person who knowingly violates alcohol abstinence during treatment with disulfiram experiences a disulfiram reaction. The ingredients in Esperal that interfere with the digestion of alcohol are a real health risk if they enter the bloodstream regularly (continuously in the case of an implant). The amount of risk depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and the dose of medicine prescribed by your doctor. Reaction with alcohol results in poisoning by acetaldehyde. This can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, palpitations, high blood pressure, general hypersensitivity to sounds and light, general weakness, increased sweating, headache, muscle aches, abdominal pain or muscle tremors. This condition can persist for several hours, which can lead to additional anxiety and depression. Consumption of huge amounts of alcohol can lead to permanent damage to internal organs, heart attack or even death. However, if abstinence is observed, the action of the drug or implant is neutral – it does not affect the way the body works.

Fact: The Esperal implant placement procedure is safe, minimally invasive, painless, and short.
All the facts listed are true. The procedure lasts about 30 minutes and is performed under the supervision and care of a permanent surgeon, who gives the patient local anesthesia, thanks to which he is constantly aware of all the actions and interventions in his body, but does not feel pain. The safety of the procedure is ensured by a doctor’s consultation before starting the procedure. The doctor diagnoses the existence of contraindications and chooses the dose of the drug individually according to the patient, who should be honest with his doctor, because the wrong dose of the drug may be too dangerous or completely ineffective. By hiding the presence of contraindications, such as some chronic diseases, you can expose yourself to irreversible damage to health and exacerbate existing problems.
Procedure: The doctor makes a 1-2 cm incision in the patient’s skin, usually in the buttocks, arms or shoulder area. The medicine is then inserted deep under the skin according to the selected dose. The wound is sutured, a bandage is applied and an antibiotic is given to prevent inflammation with micro-organisms. After several days, the patient may see a small, barely visible scar on their skin. The patient remains under the supervision of a quality doctor-surgeon even after the procedure. If something unexpected happens, they are ready to advise. In rare cases, the body tries to reject the implant, treating it as a foreign body. The patient must report this reaction to a doctor who will correct the situation.


Myth: Disulfiram is used by all alcoholics.
The doctor will decide on the person’s suitability for this medicine. Other methods may be prescribed to pregnant women, minors, patients under the influence of alcohol or those who have not observed a mandatory 48-hour alcohol withdrawal before the procedure, as well as people with chronic conditions such as polyneuritis, optic neuritis, mental disorders and cardiovascular disease. and vascular diseases. It is recommended that you undergo an alcohol detoxification procedure before taking disulfiram.

Fact: Disulfiram should be used with caution with other alcoholic products.
The disulfiram reaction always occurs regardless of whether the person has consumed a small amount or a large amount of alcohol. A few minutes after consumption, a person feels the unpleasant consequences of his decision. However, it should be noted that the consumption of alcoholic beverages and rinsing the mouth with oral hygiene fluid will not cause a reaction with the same intensity of symptoms. In the latter case, the body’s reaction will be weaker, but still felt. Therefore, you must read the labels of the application products and get acquainted with its ingredients. Meals with vinegar, cakes with added alcohol, filled with chocolate, certain medications such as cough syrup and certain antibiotics, as well as alcoholic cosmetics such as antiperspirants, shaving foam will cause discomfort.

Fact: Disulfiram and anti-alcohol implants have both proponents and opponents.
First, opponents of pharmacologically aversive treatment note the low morale of this method. The counter-argument to this objection is: Esperal is intended for people who have made an independent and fully informed decision about this type of treatment. Mandatory treatment with disulfiram does not occur and is not possible. Second, opponents of disulfiram believe that such treatment is ineffective. The widespread use of medicines suggests the opposite. They cause an aversion to drinking, which allows the patient to change their habits. Fear of consequences effectively finds motivation and a strong desire to change. Of course, there are several ways to increase the effectiveness of Esperal and the sustainability of results – to learn the recognition of the mechanisms of alcoholism development, to develop coping strategies, psychotherapy sessions and others. As some patients do not feel aesthetically and completely safe to take the medicine as an implant, the use of Esperal in tablet form is even more common.

Myth: Esperal suturing can be done anywhere, and the effects of the treatment will be the same.
This is a myth. The efficiency and safety of operations are guaranteed only by the choice of an appropriate, professional doctor and medical institution, staffed by qualified and experienced medical staff with modern equipment and characterized by individual and respectful treatment of their patients, ensuring their safety, comfort, pleasant atmosphere and complete anonymity.

What is Disulfiram?
Disulfiram is a prescription drug that alters the process of alcohol metabolism in the body. Disulfiram implantation is used in alcohol-dependent patients with a sustained psychotherapeutic effect, with good motivation to abstain from alcoholic beverages. Implantation of disulfiram in the form of subcutaneous tablets ensures that the patient’s body is sensitive to alcohol for several months without the need to take a daily dose of this medicine. The patient should be instructed not to drink alcohol while taking the implanted tablets. In this case, suggestive psychotherapy is used to prepare the patient for this method and further abstinence.

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