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DANGEROUS CARDIAC EFFECTS OF TETRAETHYLTHIURAM DISULFIDE (ANTABUSE) THERAPY IN ALCOHOLISM

EDWARD S. McCABE, M.D.; WILLIAM W. WILSON, M.D.
AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;94(2):259-263. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00250020093006.
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IN A SERIES of patients treated by us it became evident that alcohol testing 1 in patients being treated with tetraethylthiuram disulfide (Antabuse) could produce a train of severe circulatory reactions. Such experience has been noted and fatalities reported by Glud 2 and Jones 3 in patients with no demonstrable physical or laboratory abnormalities. It was felt wise, therefore, to make serial electrocardiograms of tetraethylthiuram disulfiide-treated patients while alcohol testing was being performed.

The persons used in this study were all private patients hospitalized expressly for the treatment of alcoholism. There were generally no physical complaints, although many of the patients showed evidences of vitamin deficiency and several had been treated in the past for liver disease. Without exception, all patients signified their willingness to take tetraethylthiuram disulfide. Most had been treated previously for alcoholism by other methods, with varying degrees of success. After admission and return to sobriety, a

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