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"Do you have to stop Antabuse before surgery?"


I'm a middle aged guy currently taking antabuse to prevent my relapse into alcoholism. What are the chances that I willi have to stop takjing antabuse if I get surgery? It's elective surgery I'm considering and if I stop taking the Antabuse, I may be in trouble.


It is important that the physician that will be performing your surgery know all the medications that you are taking so that he or she can determine what is safe to continue, and what must be stopped. The answer to your question depends on the type of surgery you are having, the length of recovery, and most importantly, your surgeon's preference. Therefore, I cannot give you the exact answer to this question, but I can take a good guess.

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As you may know, Antabuse (also known as Disulfiram) is a drug that inhibits one of the steps in the metabolism of alcohol. It does have some side effects and the potential to interact with other drugs. However, if your surgery is minor, and no major medications that interact with Antabuse will be given, then likely you will be able to continue it before and after the surgery. However, if you will receive a drug during the surgery that interacts with Antabuse, you will have to discontinue it prior to the operation. I suggest that you contact the surgeon that will be performing your procedure. He or she will be able to give you explicit pre-operative instructions and explain what you should and should not take prior to the operation. Hopefully, taking your Antabuse will not be a problem and you won't be at risk for relapse. I hope it all goes well.

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