Disulfiram should never be administered to a patient when he is in a state of alcohol intoxication, or without his full knowledge.
The physician should instruct relatives accordingly.
Disulfiram is an alcohol antagonist drug.
Disulfiram is an aid in the management of selected chronic alcohol patients who
to remain in a state of enforced sobriety so that supportive and psychotherapeutic treatment may be applied to best advantage.
Disulfiram is not a cure for alcoholism. When used alone, without proper motivation and supportive therapy, it is unlikely that it will have any substantive effect on the drinking pattern of the chronic alcoholic.
Media Articles Related to Disulfiram
Gauging the demand for genetic testing for alcohol dependence risk in African Americans
Source: Alcohol / Addiction / Illegal Drugs News From Medical News Today [2014.07.18]
Alcohol dependence (AD) has a genetic component and testing can determine a person's genetic risk for susceptibility to AD.
During alcohol dependence, executive function deficits can lead to attentional impairments
Source: Rehabilitation / Physical Therapy News From Medical News Today [2014.05.22]
Previous research has shown that alcohol-dependent (AD) individuals exhibit frontal lobe abnormalities.
Published Studies Related to Disulfiram
Randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of disulfiram for the treatment of cocaine dependence in methadone-stabilized patients. [2011.01.15]
This study examined the dose-related efficacy of disulfiram for treating cocaine dependence in methadone-stabilized cocaine dependent participants. DESIGN: One hundred and sixty-one cocaine- and opioid-dependent volunteers were entered into a 14-week, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial at two sites... CONCLUSIONS: Disulfiram may be contraindicated for cocaine dependence at doses <250 mg/day. Whether disulfiram at higher doses is efficacious in reducing cocaine use in dually cocaine and opioid dependent individuals needs to be determined. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of disulfiram for the
treatment of cocaine dependence in methadone-stabilized patients. 
sites... CONCLUSIONS: Disulfiram may be contraindicated for cocaine dependence at doses
Effect of the threat of a disulfiram-ethanol reaction on cue reactivity in alcoholics. [2010.12.01]
RATIONALE: Little is known about the effect of disulfiram on subjective and autonomic nervous system cue reactivity in the laboratory. The dissuasive psychological effect manifested as a threat would seem to prevail over the pharmacological effect. OBJECTIVES: The primary objective was to determine whether there was a difference in cue reactivity responses during a threat condition compared to a neutral condition during alcohol cue exposure... CONCLUSIONS: The threat of a disulfiram-ethanol reaction appears to affect cue reactivity physiologically rather than subjectively. While the data does not show changes in subjective ratings, it is possible that there are alternative beneficial effects arising from other cognitive processes that are not captivated by self-reported craving scales, reflected by decreases in negative affect and blood pressure. From this perspective, disulfiram might be recast to be more acceptable to patients. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Disulfiram in severe alcoholism--an open controlled study. [2010.12]
BACKGROUND: Disulfiram is used to a great extent in Denmark to treat alcoholism but the evidence is limited. AIM: To study the effect of supervised disulfiram treatment in alcohol dependence. Subjects were recruited from a psychiatric emergency ward following alcohol withdrawal treatment... CONCLUSION: Supervised disulfiram administration did not have any major impact on the treatment outcome.
Randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of disulfiram for the treatment of cocaine dependence in methadone-stabilized patients. [2010.09.07]
This study examined the dose-related efficacy of disulfiram for treating cocaine dependence in methadone-stabilized cocaine dependent participants. DESIGN: One hundred and sixty-one cocaine- and opioid-dependent volunteers were entered into a 14-week, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial at two sites... CONCLUSIONS: Disulfiram may be contraindicated for cocaine dependence at doses <250mg/day. Whether disulfiram at higher doses is efficacious in reducing cocaine use in dually cocaine and opioid dependent individuals needs to be determined. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Clinical Trials Related to Disulfiram
Clinical Efficacy of Disulfiram in LAAM-Maintained Cocaine Abusers [Completed]
This 18-week, randomized, double blind clinical trial provided treatment for 160
cocaine-dependent opioid addicts, aged 18-65 years. Participants were stabilized on LAAM
maintenance during the first 4 weeks and cocaine use was assessed; participants were then
stratified by level of cocaine use and randomly assigned to receive one of the following:
placebo disulfiram (0 mg/day), disulfiram at 62. 5 mg/day, disulfiram at 125 mg/day, or
disulfiram at 250 mg/day. During induction onto LAAM, participants were administered
increasing doses of LAAM plus placebo disulfiram on a thrice-weekly basis until maintenance
doses of LAAM are attained. At the beginning of week 5, participants received LAAM plus
disulfiram or placebo disulfiram according to their randomized assignments, and were
maintained on these agents through week 16. At the end of the study, participants underwent
detoxification from LAAM and active/placebo medication over a 4- to 6-week period. All
participants received weekly 1-hour psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioral Treatment) with
experienced clinicians specifically trained to deliver the therapy and who received ongoing
supervision. The primary outcomes were retention and reduction in opioid and cocaine use, as
assessed by self-report and confirmed by thrice-weekly urinalyses. Secondary outcomes
included reductions in other illicit drug and alcohol use, as well as improvements in
Phase I Study of Disulfiram and Copper Gluconate for the Treatment of Refractory Solid Tumors Involving the Liver [Recruiting]
• Determine the safety and toxicity profile of co-administration of disulfiram and copper
gluconate for the treatment of refractory malignancies that have metastasized to the liver.
- Determine if disulfiram and copper gluconate induce measurable responses for the
treatment of hepatic metastases from solid tumors.
- Qualitative assessment of the induction of S-glutathionylation in proteins of
circulating leukocytes in patients treated with disulfiram and copper gluconate.
Open-Label Disulfiram for Methamphetamine Dependence [Recruiting]
This 8 week, open-label pilot clinical trial will examine the safety and tolerability of
disulfiram at 250 mg/day in up to twelve methamphetamine dependent individuals. After
undergoing screening procedures (approximately one week), eligible subjects will enter the
study proper attend clinic every weekday during week 1 of the trial in order to receive the
disulfiram under observation and complete assessments. Then subjects will receive weekly
blister packs of medication and attend clinic thrice weekly during weeks 2-6. During weeks
7-8, subjects no longer take disulfiram, are followed for two weeks, then referred to
treatment elsewhere, if desired. Urine samples will be obtained and a disulfiram
side-effects checklist will be completed thrice-weekly. Self-reported drug use, craving and
mood ratings will be completed weekly. All subjects undergo cognitive behavioral therapy.
Adjunctive contingency management procedures will be utilized to enhance retention. The
primary outcomes of interest include retention, side-effects, and drug use. Our hypothesis
is that disulfiram will be well tolerated in this population.
Disulfiram Interactions With HIV Medications: Clinical Implications [Recruiting]
The purpose of this study is to determine whether disulfiram might be a safe and effective
treatment for cocaine and/or alcohol dependence in patients with HIV disease. This research
is designed to characterize the presence or absence of significant drug interactions between
disulfiram and HIV medications using standard clinical pharmacology techniques as well as
monitor any side effects that might occur when these medications are administered together.
Disulfiram for Cocaine Abuse [Recruiting]
This competitive renewal examines further the influence of dopamine beta-hydroxylase enzyme
activity on the clinical efficacy of the novel pharmacotherapy, disulfiram, for treating
cocaine dependence in 160 cocaine-dependent patients, some of whom are opioid dependent and
maintained on an FDA-approved opioid agonist. Cocaine dependent as well as co-morbid cocaine
dependence in opioid-dependent individuals is associated with more public health issues and
poorer treatment prognosis when admitted to methadone maintenance. However, to date, no
effective pharmacotherapies have been developed to treat cocaine dependence. One novel
pharmacotherapy, disulfiram, has shown some promise as a treatment for this disorder in
several clinical trials at a dose of 250 mg/day or more (e. g., Carroll et al., 1998, 2004).
This 14-week, randomized, double blind clinical trial will provide treatment for 160
cocaine-dependent individuals, aged 18-65 years. Participants who are opioid dependent will
be stabilized on methadone maintenance during the first 2 weeks and baseline cocaine use
will be assessed; participants will be stratified by DBH genotype and randomly assigned to
receive one of the following: placebo disulfiram (0 mg/day), disulfiram at 250 mg/day,
disulfiram at 375 mg/day, or disulfiram at 500 mg/day. During induction onto methadone for
opioid dependent individuals, participants are administered increasing doses of methadone on
a daily basis until maintenance doses are attained. At the beginning of week 3, participants
receive methadone, if relevant, plus disulfiram or placebo disulfiram according to their
randomized assignments, and are maintained on study medication(s) through week 14. At the
end of the study, participants will undergo detoxification from the opioid agonist, if
relevant, and active/placebo medication over a 4- to 6-week period. All participants receive
weekly 1-hour psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioral Treatment) with experienced clinicians
specifically trained to deliver the therapy and who will receive ongoing supervision.
Participants undergo a delay discounting session during week 1. The primary outcomes will be
retention, reduction in opioid and cocaine use, as assessed by self-report and confirmed by
thrice-weekly urinalyses, and disulfiram side-effects profile. Secondary outcomes will
include reductions in other illicit drug and alcohol use, and improvements in psychosocial
functioning. The prognostic relevance of genotype at the DBH locus, DÎ²H activity, etc., on
response to disulfiram will be examined.
Reports of Suspected Disulfiram Side Effects
Completed Suicide (9),
Respiratory Arrest (7),
Cardiac Arrest (7),
Toxicity TO Various Agents (4),
Drug Interaction (3),
Alcohol Interaction (3),
Infection (2), more >>
Page last updated: 2014-07-18