Disulfiram effects on acute cocaine administration

Drug Alcohol Depend. 1998 Sep 1;52(1):27-39. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(98)00050-7.


Disulfiram (Antabuse) is being used in outpatient clinical trials to determine its efficacy as a treatment for cocaine dependence. This inpatient randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects study was conducted to determine whether disulfiram (placebo, 250 or 500 mg/day) alters responses to acute intranasal cocaine (placebo, 1 or 2 mg/kg) administration. Effects of disulfiram on cocaine pharmacokinetics, physiological, and behavioral responses were determined. Disulfiram treatment increased plasma cocaine concentrations three to six times and significantly increased cocaine-associated cardiovascular responses, but did not significantly alter behavioral responses to cocaine. These interactions should be considered in the decision regarding disulfiram treatment in cocaine dependent patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Deterrents / pharmacology
  • Alcohol Deterrents / therapeutic use*
  • Cholinesterases / blood
  • Cholinesterases / metabolism
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Disulfiram / pharmacology
  • Disulfiram / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Time Factors


  • Alcohol Deterrents
  • Cholinesterases
  • Disulfiram