Medication Information Leaflet

There are certain restrictions in the supply of Disulfiram, as it is not available in community/retail pharmacies and is only available in selected healthcare institutions via prescription from in-house doctors. Please check with your healthcare provider if they are able to supply it.

What is this medication for?

Disulfiram is used to help you reduce the desire to drink alcohol, by giving you an unpleasant reaction every time you consume alcohol, even with very small amounts of it.

Disulfiram may be used for other conditions. Check with your healthcare professional if you are unsure why you are given this medication.

How should I take/use this medication?

IMPORTANT: You should not take Disulfiram for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol or taking medications/foods that have alcohol in them.

If you think you or someone else may have taken an overdose of Disulfiram, call 995 at once for emergency help.

  • Disulfiram may be taken with or without food.
  • Take your medication according to the instructions stated on the medication label.
  • Do not stop taking or adjust the dose of this medication without checking with your doctor.
  • Do not share the medication with other people.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if more than half of the time to the next dose has passed, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your usual timing.
  • For example, for a medication to be taken two times daily at 8am and 8pm, and you missed your first dose at 8am, skip the first dose if it is after 2pm, and take your second dose at the usual timing at 8pm. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, your doctor would have discussed the potential benefits and side-effects with you and should you have further questions or concerns, do consult your doctor.
  • You are taking any other medications (including those that can be bought without a prescription), supplements, traditional Chinese medicine and herbal products. Some of them may affect how this medication works or cause serious drug interactions.
  • You have or have ever had:
    • Other drug allergies
    • Kidney or liver disease
    • History of stroke or heart attack, high blood pressure or other heart problems
    • Been taking medications containing paraldehyde or metronidazole
    • Medical conditions such as seizures (fits)
    • Other mental health conditions such as psychosis

Carry an identification card stating that you are taking disulfiram. This serves as an alert to medical personnel in the event of an emergency.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

The mentioned side effects generally affect up to 10% of patients.

  • Drowsiness or feeling tired
    • Avoid driving or taking part in activities that require concentration
    • Discuss with your doctor if you can take your medication at a different time of the day
  • Nausea or vomiting
    • Take the medication with or after food
    • Take small but more frequent meals, and avoid fatty or spicy food
  • Headache
  • Metallic or garlic-like aftertaste

Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak with your doctor if any of them continues, worsens or affects your daily life.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Rarely this medication may cause:

  • Blurred vision, eye tenderness or pain
  • Numbness/tingling sensations
  • Mood changes or abnormal thoughts
  • Loss of appetite, severe nausea or vomiting, pain in the upper part of the stomach, yellowing of the skin or ‘whites’ of the eyes, dark-brown coloured urine and/or pale/clay-coloured stools (signs and symptoms of liver problem)

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Do not consume any alcohol with Disulfiram, as it can produce an extremely unpleasant reaction, which may include the following:

  • Flushing
  • Headache
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Chest or abdominal pain

The reaction can occur within minutes of drinking alcohol and may last for several hours. Drinking more alcohol will produce a more severe reaction, which may result in death.

Even small amounts of alcohol found in certain foods, liquid medicines, and hygiene products can trigger a reaction. Always read the contents of the product label and avoid using products containing alcohol. If you are unsure of which products to avoid, you can ask your pharmacist.

If you stop taking Disulfiram, you should wait at least two weeks before consuming alcohol. However, it is possible to experience disulfiram-reaction when you consume alcohol for two to three weeks after stopping disulfiram.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.


Please take note that the above is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you have any concerns about your medication or if you have other side effects that you think are caused by this medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Mar 2023

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