Can A Simple Magic Pill Help You To Quit Drinking Easily?
Alcoholism is a dangerous addiction that may physically destroy people’s life. Whether you struggle with excessive drinking yourself or know someone who does, you are all too aware of the damage this chronic condition can cause, from shattered relationships to major medical difficulties.
Professional addiction treatment, individual therapy, and participation in support groups can all help an alcoholic get back on track. But can medication help you to stop drinking alcohol more quickly?
Antabuse, a medicine, may also be quite effective in some circumstances.
Since the mid-twentieth century, Antabuse, also known as disulfiram, has been used to treat problem drinking. It was the first medicine to be licensed by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of alcoholism. Antabuse is one of a number of prescription medications used to treat problem drinking.
Campral (acamprosate) and ReVia are two others (naltrexone).
How Does Antabuse Work?
When humans consume alcohol, their bodies convert it into acetaldehyde. In large concentrations, this chemical serves as a poison in the body. It is thought to play a function in the onset of hangover symptoms. However, enzymes in the liver, known as aldehyde dehydrogenase, generally break down much of it into a less dangerous chemical.
Antabuse, which is marketed as a tablet in the United States, inhibits the breakdown of acetaldehyde by these liver enzymes. As a result, the chemical accumulates in the blood. This causes extremely unpleasant bodily problems.
Drinking alcohol while on Antabuse causes a racing heart and a reduction in blood pressure, which causes dizziness.
Because elevated acetaldehyde levels have a direct impact on the heart and blood vessels, reactions include palpitations and shortness of breath. If you drink alcohol while taking Antabuse, you will have nausea and vomiting. These physical responses are designed to make an alcoholic desire to stop drinking. The symptoms are extremely uncomfortable and might linger for several hours.
You don’t need to consume a large amount of alcohol to have a reaction—as little as a portion of a drink can make you feel quite ill. Furthermore, the medicine remains in the system for an extended period of time, often up to two weeks following the last dose.
Alcohol Becomes Toxic
When using Antabuse, it is critical to avoid all sources of alcohol, including particular foods (such as wine-containing sauces) and pharmaceuticals (such as cough syrups, cold remedies or sleep aids). To guarantee that there is no reaction, some doctors recommend avoiding mouthwashes containing alcohol.
It’s a good idea to keep a list of medications and goods that potentially cause an Antabuse reaction on hand. This will not only benefit you, but it will also notify health care providers so that they do not unintentionally give you a drug that interacts with Antabuse and causes you to become unwell.
This prescription medication for alcoholism may have negative effects. During the first few weeks of Antabuse therapy, some users report feeling more sleepy than usual. Others have reported a metallic taste in their tongue that goes away after a few weeks or months.
Long-term usage of Antabuse may cause liver damage, therefore your doctor may advise you to get frequent liver function tests while you’re on it.
It is vital that you inform your doctor about all medications you are taking. Antabuse may interact with other prescription medications, such as diazepam and warfarin. The medication is not suggested for people who have cardiovascular difficulties, a history of heart attack or stroke, epilepsy, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Efficacy of Antabuse
Several studies have found that Antabuse works no better than placebos, owing to the fact that many alcoholics simply stop taking the medicine in order to resume drinking. According to one of these studies, up to 80% of alcoholics quit using the substance. One nine-year European study discovered that alcoholics who used deterrent medicines, such as Antabuse, had abstinence rates of around 49%, with higher abstinence rates in those who used the prescription for more than 21 months.
It’s worth noting that the patients in the study also underwent intensive psychiatric counseling to help them cope with their problem drinking.
While Antabuse can help some people, it is not the best treatment for everyone.
This medicine does not diminish or remove cravings; rather, it makes the alcoholic so sick after drinking that he or she will not want to drink again in theory.
Alcoholics who are unable to resist the impulse to consume frequently discontinue their medicine in order to drink without feeling unwell. Antabuse can be implanted beneath the skin by European doctors to administer a consistent dose for 12 months; however, implants are not yet available in the United States.
Antabuse as a Treatment Option
Antabuse is not an alcoholism treatment. Instead, it’s used as an added incentive to choose sober. It can be a useful tool for alcoholics who find themselves in enticing settings; for example, Antabuse can assist someone who frequently travels for business to prevent relapsing while on the road.
The secret to long-term sobriety is to devise a plan that alters your thinking and behavior.
Addiction therapy will assist you in identifying the triggers that cause you to drink. Once you’ve identified the ideas, actions, feelings, and situations that make you desire to drink alcohol, you may acquire healthy coping mechanisms. Changes in lifestyle are also necessary for long-term sobriety.
An addiction counselor will make suggestions such as choosing non-drinking buddies, avoiding enticing settings such as Friday happy hour, and practicing stress management skills such as meditation or deep breathing. A therapist can also assist you in developing new, healthier routines to replace the function of alcohol in your life.
Change is Required
Ongoing recovery assistance, commonly provided through a 12-step program or an online process such as the Stop Drinking Expert course, is also necessary for long-term sobriety. These networks offer an alcohol-free, nonjudgmental atmosphere in which you can acquire recovery skills and insights from other drinkers.
The use of resources such as therapy or support groups lays the groundwork for you to fight urges in a healthy way; Antabuse treatment merely adds an extra layer of incentive.
If your treatment team decides that Antabuse is the proper medication for you, a doctor will prescribe a dose based on your medical condition and how you respond to therapy.
Typically, a greater dose is administered for the first one or two weeks, followed by a reduction to a maintenance dose.
Alcoholism is a serious condition that necessitates professional care. If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, seek treatment at a reputable rehab facility. An addictions team will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs, which may involve therapy and, in some cases, medication such as Antabuse.
Initially, naltrexone was used to treat opioid addiction, particularly heroin. Recovering addicts who used Naltrexone no longer felt the normal euphoric sensations, making them less motivated to continue using the drug.
The same was proven to be true for problem drinkers. Although the specific mechanism is unknown, the brain reacts to drinking in a manner similar to how it reacts to hard drugs; Naltrexone likewise reduces the buzz and pleasurable sensations of drinking alcohol.
Once on Naltrexone, problem drinkers no longer receive a “reward” for consuming alcohol and are thus less likely to binge.
Although Naltrexone has a long history of efficacy in the treatment of alcoholism, it is insufficient when used alone. This medicine neither reduces cravings for alcohol nor the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. When used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as the Stop Drinking Expert program, naltrexone is most effective.
Naltrexone is absorbed by the body through the liver and, at large doses, can cause serious liver damage. This may reduce its efficiency while also making it unsafe to consume for drinkers with alcohol-related liver issues.
Naltrexone, like most therapy drugs, is a prescription medication that should only be taken under the supervision of a GP. Naltrexone should be provided only after the physician has determined that the patient’s liver is in good working order and that the patient is not pregnant.
Naltrexone is sometimes administered for a brief length of time, especially in in-patient rehabilitation settings. However, evidence indicates that long-term use for more than three months is most beneficial in keeping problem drinkers sober. Naltrexone is a relatively safe medicine that can be used in the long term.
A single Naltrexone pill is typically taken once per day, with or without food. It can also be used every other day, every third day (or other designated day of the week). If a patient forgets to take a dose and it is not close to the time for the following dose, the medication should be taken as soon as feasible.
Naltrexone Side Effects
Naltrexone has a long history of use, and its adverse effects have been thoroughly researched and documented. Personally, I found the side effect to be unbearable.
The official line on this is, Naltrexone is safe to use.
Mindset Is Key
The truth is, unless you have the right mindset – none of these drugs will work. If you are ready to follow a proven path to sobriety make sure you book your slot on today’s free quit drinking webinar with the Stop Drinking Expert Craig Beck.