Does Antabuse Cause Weight Gain?


Antabuse is a medication used for the treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder. It is designed to help people maintain their sobriety by making the use of alcohol as unappealing as possible.

Whilst it does not control alcohol cravings, it is a useful tool to use in recovery for many people.

In this article, we will be answering a common question about Antabuse treatment. We will discuss if Antabuse causes weight gain and what risks the treatment may have for you.

Read on to learn more about:

  1. What Antabuse is
  2. What Antabuse is used for
  3. If Antabuse causes weight gain
  4. Side effects and risks of Antabuse treatment

Let’s get into it.

What is Antabuse Used For?

Antabuse is a prescription medication that is FDA-approved for the treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder, which is also known as chronic alcoholism.

It works as a deterrent, and is used in people who have undergone alcohol detoxification and have not consumed alcohol in the past couple of days.

It can be prescribed to:

  1. Individuals with alcohol dependence who have detoxification from alcohol
  2. Those who have difficulty maintaining abstinence from alcohol
  3. People who are motivated to stop drinking and are sober but struggle with relapse
  4. Individuals in a structured treatment program for alcohol addiction.

Antabuse can also be prescribed to people with cocaine dependence, although this is not a very common use for the medication.

Does Antabuse Cause Weight Gain?

It is unlikely that Antabuse causes weight gain.

One of the potential beneficial effects of disulfiram treatment is that it does not cause weight gain.

In fact, some mouse studieshave found that mice taking the medication exhibited dramatic weight loss and control of normal body weight.

The study also found that Antabuse treatment also prevented the mice from body weight gain when put in an obesogenic environment with high-fat diets. In obese mice, it also helped to control blood glucose levels.

Whilst disulfiram is not yet approved for medication-assisted treatment of diet-induced obesity, studies like these are showing promising results.

It is important to note that while Antabuse is an FDA-approved drug for alcoholismthat is unlikely to cause weight gain, it should not be used for the control of body weight until proven safe by the FDA.

Clinical studies are in the early stages and are looking at the potential for Antabuse in the treatment of morbid obesity and weight gain.

Side Effects and Risks of Antabuse

Like with any medication, there are some risks of side effects when taking Antabuse. It is important to discuss any underlying medical conditions with your healthcare professional before taking the medication for the best health outcomes.

Most common side effects are mild and usually subside after a couple of weeks of treatment.

Some common unpleasant side effects include:

  1. Headaches
  2. Sleepiness
  3. Metallic taste (halitosis)
  4. Unpleasant side effects if accidentally taken with alcohol-containing products, such as ingested mouthwash or cough syrup/ cough medicines.

Risks of Antabuse are present for people with underlying health conditions and people who ingest any amount of alcohol while on the medication.

The medication remains in your body for up to 2 weeks after you stop taking it, so it is important to avoid any alcohol consumption even after you have stopped taking the medication to avoid any severe reactions.

It is important to seek medical advice if you are concerned about any side effects you may be experiencing and to ask for blood tests before being prescribed the medication if you think you are at risk.

These risks include:

  1. Chest pain
  2. A drop in blood pressure
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Liver toxicity
  5. Psychosis when taken with cannabis
  6. Blurred vision.

Who Is At Risk

Some people may not be able to take the medication, due to the risk of adverse reactions. These include:

  1. People taking certain medications including blood thinners
  2. People with severe kidney disease
  3. People with impaired liver function, or liver disease
  4. People who have had a heart attack
  5. People who are at risk of severe allergic reactions
  6. People with heart disease
  7. People who use other recreational drugs due to drug interactions.

Final Thoughts

Antabuse is a prescription medication that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of chronic alcoholism.

It achieves this by changing alcohol metabolism in the body and making drinking an unpleasant experience.

The medication itself is unlikely to cause weight gain and has even been suggested to be a potential tool for weight loss in animals with diet-induced obesity in some animal studies.

However, these studies are in the early stages, and clinical studies in humans are yet to be conducted.

If you are considering taking Antabuse, it is important to discuss this with your healthcare provider and to seek medical attention if you have concerns about taking the medication.


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