Disulfiram is a medication used to treat alcohol use disorder. It works by blocking the breakdown of alcohol in the body, causing a buildup of a toxic alcohol-related compound that can make people who drink while taking this medication seriously ill. Disulfiram is used in combination with counseling and support to help people with chronic alcoholism. The high concentration of acetaldehyde that occurs when someone drinks while taking disulfiram triggers an unpleasant reaction.
This can be an effective deterrent because it causes an extremely unpleasant reaction if a person drinks alcohol while taking it. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking disulfiram and for 14 days after you stop taking this medication. Disulfiram is used together with behavior modification, psychotherapy, and psychological support to help you stop drinking. Research has shown that long-term use of this medication is effective in helping people stop drinking, as it produces abstinence rates of 50%.
The longer a person takes disulfiram, the more effective it will be, as it develops the habit of not drinking. However, it's important to note that the effectiveness of disulfiram in helping a person stop drinking depends on the continued use of medications.