The ingestion of alcohol
while taking disulfiram
will result in flushing and fullness of the face and neck, tachycardia, breathlessness, giddiness and hypotension, nausea, and vomiting. A mild flushing reaction of the skin may possibly occur in particularly sensitive individuals if alcohol
is applied to the skin or if the vapour is inhaled. Note
that some products (e.g. Norvir oral solution) are formulated with alcohol
and, although the volume of alcohol
taken with the dose is likely to be small, may still provoke this reaction.
This interaction is exploited therapeutically to deter alcoholics from drinking. Patients should also be warned about the exposure to alcohol
from some unexpected sources such as foods, cosmetics, medicinal remedies, and solvents.