Antabuse taken under supervision is effective and useful in the treatment of selected patients in the very long term. Relapses during treatment are the rule rather than the exception as is also illustrated in five case reports, but Antabuse treatment contributes to longer periods of sobriety. Continued support by nurses is necessary in the treatment of alcohol dependent patients and appointments with a psychiatrist are important for patients with alcohol dependence and psychiatric disorders.
The personal perception of the severity of the drinking problem seems to be of decisive importance for compliance with the treatment. A high degree of motivation to stop drinking leads to long-term use of Antabuse, a stronger internal locus of control and a favourable outcome. Measurements of liver enzymes are useful for monitoring the treatment outcome as well as for detecting toxic effects on the liver.