How soon after taking my last Antabuse can I safely drink?
April 1, 2012 4:02 PM   Subscribe

How soon after taking my last Antabuse can I safely drink?

I am an active 28 year old male weighing 225 pounds who has been on 250mg Antabuse orally for the past 6 months.
posted by christhelongtimelurker to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Call the doctor who prescribed it for you.
posted by barnone at 4:25 PM on April 1, 2012 [10 favorites]

Operationalization of and variations in the values for "safe" are so absurdly huge that nobody on the internet can answer this question for you.

This is, as barnone said, a question for your prescribing doctor.
posted by bilabial at 4:29 PM on April 1, 2012

If you can't reach your doctor (which seems likely given it's a Sunday evening), you could also call your prescribing pharmacist. If the pharmacy you typically use is not open, call the nearest 24-hour pharmacy and ask to speak with a pharmacist.
posted by pecanpies at 4:34 PM on April 1, 2012

The prescribing information suggests up to 2 weeks after your last dose you may have a reaction, but it sounds like that depends on the dose of antabuse the patient is on, how long they have been taking it, and the amount of alcohol ingested. Given the nasty nature of the reaction I would be inclined to wait even longer to be on the safe side, perhaps as long as a month.

Your doctor or pharmacist can give you information better tailored to your specific circumstance, especially if there are other medical issues involved.
posted by TedW at 4:44 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

And call your best friend / brother / sister / partner / parent who knows you've been taking this, and let them know what's going on.

"Hi friend, as you know, I've been on Antabuse for several months, and I've been doing really well, but I'd like to have a drink, and am not sure what to do. Can you help me figure out next steps here?"
posted by barnone at 4:46 PM on April 1, 2012 [12 favorites]

Are you really sure you want to start drinking again? Six months of sobriety is an awesome thing.
posted by doreur at 5:46 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks. I'm not sure I want to start drinking again but I would like to do so safely if at all. Thanks for your responses.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 5:54 PM on April 1, 2012

If you are asking us because you are afraid of the opinion of the doctor who prescribed it to you, that is a pretty bleak sign. Whatever you do, as you go forward, please make sure that you include the people who love you in these kinds of decisions. They will have a good idea of whether or not it might be a terrible idea.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:58 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

OP, I would tend to think that if you've had a substance issue bad enough to require the use of Antabuse, there IS no "safely."

For all we know, you may have been on Antabuse for something other than alcohol. Still, though, even if you're addicted to something other than alcohol, drinking will make it very easy for you to fall back into the reasons you needed the Antabuse in the first place.
posted by Madamina at 7:05 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: The last time I felt normal was back when I was drinking. I'm not really sure whats going on in my life; I feel so lost and incapable of communicating with anyone. I'm hanging out with an old drinking buddy of mine and I have no idea what to talk about or how to contribute to conversation with him.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 11:00 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm so glad you responded here. Even saying how awful you feel without drinking is a good start. A lot of people have a very hard time even enunciating what's giving them trouble; you're working on that already.

It takes time to get into new routines -- just as it took time for you to get into the routine of drinking, and socializing while drinking. You created a new normal for yourself then, and you can do it again.

I don't know if you're open to AA or similar (perhaps you've already been), and I know that it can take a while to find a meeting or a program that fits your life. But even if you don't like the meetings, having a sponsor who's really been there can be a huge help. You can say stuff like this and your sponsor can say, "Boy, do I hear you on that one. It took me a couple months, but..." and your conversation is off and running. You don't have to be best friends; it's just nice to have a sounding board who knows what it's like.

Apologies if you've already been through all of that. I just want to remind you how far you've already come, which is a lot farther than many people get. You're on the right track.
posted by Madamina at 7:33 AM on April 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

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