What Is Antabuse and Is It Dangerous? Antabuse, also known as disulfiram, is a pharmaceutical treatment that helps to recover alcoholics maintain their sobriety. It has been used for more than 60 years with mixed results. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, here is what you need to know about Antabuse Antabuse is used in certain people with chronic alcoholism. This medicine can help keep you from drinking because of the unpleasant side effects that will occur if you consume alcohol while taking Antabuse. The medicine blocks an enzyme that’s involved in metabolizing alcohol. Antabuse causes unpleasant symptoms when even small amounts of alcohol are consumed. People should be made aware of this when they have prescribed Antabuse. These effects typically begin about 10 minutes after alcohol enters the body, and they last for about an hour. Antabuse is meant to be used in combination with other forms of therapy, including behavior modification, counseling, and psychotherapy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Antabuse in 1951. It’s currently manufactured (as generic disulfiram) by Teva Pharmaceuticals.