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How long does adverse reaction after consuming Disulfiram and alcohol last?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar


Practicing since :2000

Answered : 2904 Questions

Posted on Thu, 5 Nov 2015 in Mental Health
Question: how long severe desulfiram alcohol reaction lasts.
what can be done to reduce the reaction i.e. to minimize the reactions ?
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 27 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It depends on the amount of alcohol intake

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for using Healthcaremagic.

Disulfiram reaction occurs due to accumulation of acetaldehyde which is unpleasant substance generated in metabolism of alcohol. The enzyme responsible for breakdown of acetaldehyde is inhibited by disulfiram and few other drugs irreversibly and new enzyme generation takes week or more to catabolize acetaldehyde.

From the above description I like to communicate that it depends on the amount of alcohol taken and can last upto one week if the amount was too high but generally first 24 hours are critical in regard to disulfiram reaction. In majority of cases with low intake it does not last more than 48-72 hours.

If he has severe reaction there is need of medical support in intensive care unit.
I do not think you can do anything to prevent it other than maintaining hydration. Till he gets hospitalized in expert center ask nearby health facility to provide supportive measures like intravenous fluids and monitoring of vitals.

You are requested to visit nearby medical center for further management as it may be life threatening.

I hope this helps you.
In case you have more questions feel free to write back to you.
Thanks and regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Ashok Kumar 38 minutes later
thanks for your reply.

actually my dad got reaction when he took alcohol in large amount. he was also drinking earlier for 10-15 days with desulfiram but it reacted only 2 days ago when he took alcohol in large amount.

he has become a bit like psycho.

saying that something is happening in his mind but not able to explain what.

feeling something in chest . and breathing problem.

for some time he remains normal then something happens in his mind and he pats his head and chest strongly.

he asks to us that he wont die na and wont get heart attack.
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
There are the features of disulfiram reaction

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for reverting back to me.

The symptoms you described totally indicates disulfirm reaction and you are advised to keep him under medical supervision for next 24 hours to minimum.

Support him by saying that you will take care of everything and at the same time take this opportunity for complete withdrawal of alcohol from his life.

I hope you already reached hospital.
Thanks and regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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