Screening for Disulfiram‐Induced Liver Test Dysfunction in an Inpatient Alcoholism Program

Curtis Wright, Richard D. Moore, Douglas M. Grodin, Daniel A. Spyker, Edward V. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to report the frequency of disulfiramrelated elevations of four commonly used hepatic screening chemistries using a retrospective record review design. An inpatient alcoholism program was selected for the setting. Patients who had initial laboratory values within the normal range started daily supervised doses of disulfiram, then underwent follow‐up testing after 2 and 4 weeks on the drug. The study population consisted of 108 patients receiving disulfiram and 27 patients who did not receive disulfiram (controls). The four screening serum chemistries performed were aspartate aminotransferase (SGOT), alanine aminotransferase (SGPT), alkaline phosphatase, and γ‐glutamyl transferase. Twenty‐seven (25%) of the 108 patients who were taking 250 mg of disulfiram a day for 2 to 4 weeks had disulfiram‐related elevations in alanine aminotransferase above the upper limit of normal, as opposed to one elevation in 27 patients (4%) for whom disulfiram was not prescribed. In the 108 patients (with initially normal serum chemistries) who were prescribed disulfiram, 32 were discontinued from the drug at 2 weeks and an additional 11 were discontinued from the drug at 4 weeks because of one or more abnormal serum chemistries. Alanine aminotransferase was the most specific and sensitive indicator of the four screening chemistries performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-186
Number of pages3
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1993


  • Antabuse
  • Disulfiram
  • Disulfiram‐Associated Fulminant Hepatitis
  • Disulfiram‐Associated Liver Toxicity
  • Disulfiram‐Associated Transaminitis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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