Counteracting many of the side effects of Antabuse, a medication used to treat alcoholism, is achieved by not drinking, states Drugs.com. Even a very small amount of alcohol ingestion while taking Antabuse can produce unpleasant side effects. Taking Antabuse with alcohol can also be fatal.
In some cases, individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol while taking Antabuse experience slow heart rhythm, seizures, fainting, slow or ceased breathing or death, according to Drugs.com. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives; difficulty breathing; and swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat. If any of these symptoms are experienced, seek emergency medical attention. A person taking Antabuse should call a doctor if confusion; eye pain or vision loss; liver problems; clay-colored stools; or loss of appetite occur.
Antabuse commonly causes minor side effects without the use of alcohol such as acne, skin rash and impotence, explains Drugs.com. Individuals who find the side effects troublesome should contact their doctor. More serious side effects caused by drinking with Antabuse include fast and pounding heartbeat; nausea and severe vomiting; confusion and weakness; sweating; and a spinning sensation. Increased thirst, rapid weight gain and chest pain are also reported side effects with Antabuse and alcohol use.