Compare Antabuse vs. Naltrexone

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Antabuse (disulfiram)

Prescription only

Vivitrol (Naltrexone)

Prescription only
Treats alcoholism.

While Antabuse (disulfiram) is a good way to help stop alcoholism, it works best if you're also seeing a therapist.

Treats alcohol dependence and prevents relapse of addiction to opioids.

Vivitrol (Naltrexone) is good for treating opioid and alcohol dependence. It needs to be used as directed and can't be used with alcohol or opioid pain medications.

Upsides
  • Antabuse (disulfiram) is a first choice medicine for alcoholism.
  • You're less likely to start drinking again with Antabuse (disulfiram) than other medicines.
  • Available in two different forms: a tablet you take every day and as a shot your doctor gives you once a month.
  • Good for people who have a mild opioid use disorder and who are highly motivated, or who can be supervised as they take their medication.
  • Can be used with behavior modification therapy to treat opioid or alcohol use disorders.
  • Higher success rates are seen in people who use this under supervision.
  • The tablet is available as a generic.
Downsides
  • Antabuse (disulfiram) can cause bad reactions to all types of alcohol, even in sauces or in medicines.
  • If you have diabetes, hypothyroidism, seizures, brain, liver or kidney damage, Antabuse (disulfiram) might not be safe for you to use.
  • People who try to take opioids after taking Vivitrol (Naltrexone) are at risk for opioid overdose and death since it takes a large amount of opioids to overcome the effects of Vivitrol (Naltrexone).
  • You won't be able to use any medications with opioids for pain relief since Vivitrol (Naltrexone) prevents them from working.
  • The shot is only available as brand name only, so it can be expensive.
  • Not a good choice if you have liver problems, depression, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Antabuse (disulfiram) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
9possible side effects
  • Nausea
    10%
  • Headache
    7%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Nervousness
    4%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Insomnia
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Anxiety
    2%
  • Somnolence
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Reaction with alcohol
    • Drinking alcohol while on Antabuse (disulfiram)
  • Allergic reaction
    • Allergy to latex rubber or pesticides
  • Liver damage
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Opioid overdose
    • Prior use of opioid medications
    • Use of Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
  • Opioid withdrawal
    • Current use of opioid medications
    • New use of Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
  • Risk to unborn babies
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Breast-feeding while taking Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
  • Liver injury
See more detailed risks and warnings