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Disulfiram Treatment of Alcoholism

[+] Article and Author Information

Requests for Reprints: Linda Johnson White, Director, Department of Scientific Policy, American College of Physicians, Independence Mall West, Sixth Street at Race, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572.


©1989 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1989;111(11):943-945. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-111-11-943
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Disulfiram is an established drug that has been used in the clinical treatment of alcoholism for 40 years. It will produce an aversive reaction with ethanol in a person who takes a pharmacologically adequate dose, usually between 250 mg and 500 mg per day (1-9), although some patients may not have an aversive reaction at this level (10, 11). In some persons, it may have a relatively narrow therapeutic index with cardiac, hepatic, and neurologic toxicity occurring within this dosage range (12-25). The evidence suggests that disulfiram can be effective over the short term in reducing the frequency of alcohol

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