Antabuse (trade name) or disulfiram (chemical name) is a small, white tablet that is prescribed to individuals suffering from severe alcoholism. After ingestion, an acute sensitivity to alcohol results, and if any form of alcohol is consumed, the individual experiences a wide variety of sensations—all making him or her nauseated and sick. Disulfiram was not originally created for treating alcoholics. Rather, it was intended as a medication to fight parasites, but individuals charged with checking the drug's efficacy found that if alcohol was consumed after taking the drug, severe symptoms resulted.

When an individual drinks under normal circumstances, the liver breaks the alcohol down from alcohol dehydrogenase to acetaldehyde, and after that, the acetaldehyde is altered to acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, a relatively harmless acetic acid. Disulfiram halts ...

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