Disulfiram: Part 3 Nutrition And Personal Care

Disulfiram: Part 3

Nutrition And Personal Care

With disulfiram, a discussion regarding dietary restrictions is essential. These include common foods including fermented foods, kombucha, and certain baked goods with, e.g. vanilla extract, and vinegars. It is important to read food labels when buying groceries to avoid accidental exposure. Also, be aware when eating out at restaurants where alcohol might be hidden in sauces, salad dressings or desserts.

All-alcoholic beverages and alcohol-based tinctures, and even certain household products must be avoided. Consumption and accidental exposure can lead to a severe reaction that can have serious consequences.

As disulfiram stays in the body up to 14 days after cessation of use, the below information is pertinent for two weeks thereafter:

  1. Do not use alcohol-containing foods, products, or medicines, such as elixirs, tonics, sauces, vinegar, cough syrups, mouthwashes, or gargles. 
  2. Do not come in contact with or breathe in the fumes of chemicals that may contain alcohol, acetaldehyde, paraldehyde, or other related chemicals, such as paint thinner, paint, varnish, or shellac.
  3. Do not use any alcohol-containing products on raw skin or open wounds.
  4. Use caution when using alcohol-containing products that are applied to the skin, such as some transdermal (stick-on patch) medicines or rubbing alcohol, back rubs, after-shave lotions, colognes, perfumes, toilet waters, or after-bath preparations.

Using such products while you are taking disulfiram may cause headache, nausea, or local redness or itching because the alcohol in these products may be absorbed into your body. Before using alcohol-containing products on your skin, first, test the product by applying some to a small area of your skin. Allow the product to remain on your skin for 1 or 2 hours. If no redness, itching, or other unwanted effects occur, you should be able to use the product.

Currently, there are many unknowns regarding the use of disulfiram in the treatment of Lyme disease and Babesiosis: What is its action against the above infections? Is disulfiram more effective against particular manifestations of Lyme disease infections, e.g. neuroborreliosis? Are positive results because of disulfiram penetrating biofilm?

More scientific studies will need to be done, however, results have been encouraging for many who have embarked on, in the words of Dr. Liegner, this “novel off-label use of an already FDA-approved agent.”

Rika Keck

NY Integrated Health

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