Can I safely use Listerine while on Antabuse?
November 14, 2007 8:07 PM   Subscribe

Can I safely use Listerine while on Antabuse? My doctor advised me to avoid alcohol in shampoos and deodorants and I have even read some warnings against inhaling alcohol vapors. My doctor had a sort of a shoulder-shrug response when I asked about Listerine. Other opinions or experiences would be very welcome as I'd rather not use a "try and see" approach.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
Not advisable. There are other mouthwashes available which don't have alcohol; it would be better to use one of them.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:09 PM on November 14, 2007

The problem is that it's impossible to avoid swallowing a little bit of mouthwash -- and it doesn't take much alcohol to make you sick-as-a-dog when you're taking antabuse.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:18 PM on November 14, 2007

Don't do that, Google "no alcohol mouthwash" instead. Antabuse is serious business, read your own wikipedia link.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:25 PM on November 14, 2007

As Mr. Den Beste said.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:26 PM on November 14, 2007

I was recently prescribed an antibiotic that has a "no alcohol" warning. My pharmacist warned that mouthwashes containing alcohol would make me very ill. I also avoided foods with fermentation after reading more about the medicine.
posted by bonobo at 8:31 PM on November 14, 2007

I mean if you are advised to avoid alcohol in shampoo and deodorants, which can only be absorbed through your skin, in minute quantities. Listerine seems to have anywhere from 26.9% alcohol and up, going into your mouth and let alone you swallowing some, your gums and mucous membranes will absorb that alcohol into your blood at a much faster rate than your scalp and armpits.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:32 PM on November 14, 2007

Do not use Listerine. The alcohol will be absorbed through your oral mucosa.

Furthermore, if you're taking Antabuse you presumably have an uncontrollable compulsion to drink alcohol. What on Earth makes you think it's a good idea to use Listerine instead of a non-alcoholic alternative? Do you really love tormenting yourself?

Do yourself a favor - throw that Listerine away and get some nice normal-person mouthwash that isn't crafted to exactly mimic the flavor of a 19th century after-dinner alcoholic digestif beverage.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:39 PM on November 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Also, just to make sure you know: if you stop taking Antabuse, it's not safe to drink for two weeks.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:39 PM on November 14, 2007

I like this stuff.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:40 PM on November 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seconding Biotene, it's the bomb. Does the job and doesn't sting or contain alcohol.
posted by evariste at 9:29 PM on November 14, 2007

My dentist recommended Oral B mouthwash - I believe because it doesn't have alcohol in it, but check the label to be sure.
posted by orange swan at 6:10 AM on November 15, 2007

I stand by Crest Pro Health.
posted by josher71 at 6:33 AM on November 15, 2007

Crest Pro Health has reports of "mouth boogers" (increased epithelial shedding) and teeth staining. It wouldn't be my top choice for an alcohol-free mouthwash.

Anonymous: swishing with salt water is a cheap mouthwash alternative. It ain't minty-fresh, though.
posted by subbes at 12:41 PM on November 15, 2007

Act is the alcohol-free mouthwash I use (and like).
posted by booksandlibretti at 10:24 PM on November 15, 2007

In related news, you may want to consider changing doctors if he seriously shrugged his shoulders to that question. If he's prescribing the drug, he should know the answer.
posted by Riki tiki at 1:58 AM on November 16, 2007

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