Once the client experiences these unwanted side effects, they’ll likely be deterred from drinking alcohol while on the medication. A few other advantages of disulfiram treatment include that it:

  • Discourages drinking Behaviours due to unpleasant physiological effects.
  • Is a successful tool for motivated clients.
  • Can be used before entering situations that might trigger unwanted Behaviour, such as a party.

This drug might be prescribed to clients after alcohol detox when they’re stabilized and attending addiction treatment but are concerned about relapse. Disulfiram works by eliciting several negative effects when the individual drinks alcohol while taking it. These effects include:

  • Nausea.
  • Sweating.
  • Flushing of the face.
  • Hyperventilation.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Palpitations.
  • Vertigo.


There are some disadvantages of disulfiram treatment. These include that it:

  • Doesn’t decrease cravings for alcohol.
  • Doesn’t normalize brain function.
  • May not be effective if client isn’t motivated to stop drinking.
  • Can have severe side effects if excessive alcohol is simultaneously ingested, including liver damage, damage to peripheral nerves, delirium, and psychosis.
  • Shouldn’t be used in clients who have liver damage.