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Urinary ethylglucuronide assessment in patients treated with disulfiram: a tool to improve verification of abstention and safety


Mutschler, J; Grosshans, M; Koopmann, A; Mann, K; Kiefer, F; Hermann, D (2010). Urinary ethylglucuronide assessment in patients treated with disulfiram: a tool to improve verification of abstention and safety. Clinical Neuropharmacology, 33(6):285-287.

Abstract

AIM: Disulfiram has been shown to be efficacious and safe in the treatment of alcohol relapse prevention. However, drinking alcohol while taking disulfiram can be harmful because of the resulting alcohol-disulfiram reaction/acetaldehyde reaction. Alcohol consumption of patients receiving a low disulfiram dose or low alcohol consumption in normal disulfiram dose can result in subclinical alcohol-disulfiram reactions. This undermines the learning of alcohol-associated punishment, might increase the risk to raise alcohol consumption, and can result in chronic acetaldehyde exposure, which has carcinogenic, neurotoxic, and cardiotoxic properties. Therefore, the use of an alcohol marker monitoring retrospective alcohol use is tested in this study.

METHOD: A total of 51 patients being treated with supervised disulfiram were unheralded measured for ethylglucuronide (EtG) if they attended at least for 2 weeks in the outpatient treatment program. Ethylglucuronide was measured with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis (LC-MS/MS). Detection limit was 0.1 mg/L.

RESULTS: Urinary EtG was found positive in 5.9% (3/51) of the patients. Regularly conducted breathalyzer tests had been continuously negative in these patients. Moreover, vegetative withdrawal symptoms had not been found in these patients. Two of the positive EtG tests could be classified as covered relapses, whereas the third remained unclear but showed a negative EtG in a repetition of the test few days later.

CONCLUSIONS: Unheralded urinary EtG monitoring improved verification of abstinence in patients treated with disulfiram, was helpful in detecting covered consumption of alcoholic beverages or hidden alcohol exposition (eg, fruit juice or personal care products), and thereby improved safety by preventing chronic acetaldehyde reaction.

Abstract

AIM: Disulfiram has been shown to be efficacious and safe in the treatment of alcohol relapse prevention. However, drinking alcohol while taking disulfiram can be harmful because of the resulting alcohol-disulfiram reaction/acetaldehyde reaction. Alcohol consumption of patients receiving a low disulfiram dose or low alcohol consumption in normal disulfiram dose can result in subclinical alcohol-disulfiram reactions. This undermines the learning of alcohol-associated punishment, might increase the risk to raise alcohol consumption, and can result in chronic acetaldehyde exposure, which has carcinogenic, neurotoxic, and cardiotoxic properties. Therefore, the use of an alcohol marker monitoring retrospective alcohol use is tested in this study.

METHOD: A total of 51 patients being treated with supervised disulfiram were unheralded measured for ethylglucuronide (EtG) if they attended at least for 2 weeks in the outpatient treatment program. Ethylglucuronide was measured with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis (LC-MS/MS). Detection limit was 0.1 mg/L.

RESULTS: Urinary EtG was found positive in 5.9% (3/51) of the patients. Regularly conducted breathalyzer tests had been continuously negative in these patients. Moreover, vegetative withdrawal symptoms had not been found in these patients. Two of the positive EtG tests could be classified as covered relapses, whereas the third remained unclear but showed a negative EtG in a repetition of the test few days later.

CONCLUSIONS: Unheralded urinary EtG monitoring improved verification of abstinence in patients treated with disulfiram, was helpful in detecting covered consumption of alcoholic beverages or hidden alcohol exposition (eg, fruit juice or personal care products), and thereby improved safety by preventing chronic acetaldehyde reaction.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:31 Jan 2011 15:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:40
Publisher:Lippincott Wiliams & Wilkins
ISSN:0362-5664
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1097/WNF.0b013e3181fc9362
PubMed ID:20975547

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