Antidipsotropic Medications

Antidipsotropic medications belong to a group of drugs that all work to stop an individual consuming alcohol. They are designed so that when taken in combination with alcohol, they produce a severe and unpleasant reaction. This is believed to develop an aversion to drinking alcohol which will help a person who has a chronic addiction to alcohol stop drinking. Metronidazole is one medication that fits into this category.


Metronidazole is an antibiotic medication that is prescribed to treat specific bacterial infections. These infections are usually in the stomach, respiratory tract, skin or joints. It is sold under the name Flagyl. This medication has been found to cause severe and unpleasant reactions in some people when combined with alcohol.

Metronidazole and Alcohol

When taking Flagyl and alcohol in combination, a person may suffer from the antidipsotropic reaction. This means that side effects such as vomiting, increased heart beat, redness of skin, nausea and tingling may be felt. These negative side effects can have a long lasting, aversion reaction for some individuals and may be beneficial for people struggling with alcohol problems. It should be noted that this medication is not specifically marketed as an antidipsotropic.

Precautions When Taking Metronidazole

Flagyl is a medication that should be taken with caution. Individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding, those who suffer from stomach or intestinal disease, anemia, epilepy or nerve disoders should inform their doctor before being prescribed.

Metronidazole and Interactions with Other Medications

A number of prescription medications may interact with Flagyl. These include seizure medications (phenytoin or phenobarbital), blood thinning medications (warfarin), lithium or other antidipsotropics. Some herbal medications, birth control or over-the-counter drugs can also have an interaction and must be discussed with a medical professional before taking.

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Accidental Find – An Aversion to Alcohol

A Times Magazine article from 1965 reports on the accidental find that metronidazole can have antidipsotropic properties. It was found that a number of individuals who were prescribed this medication to treat infections experienced a notable difference in the desire to consume alcohol. It was believed that the medication had similar blocking abilities to anti-drinking medications like disulfiram.

Metronidazole Current Status

For a number of years, and still today, pharmacists and doctors recommend that individuals refrain from drinking for the duration of the prescription and for at least 48 hours after stopping the medication. However, numerous studies have found that the drug does not produce anti-drinking reactions. It is no longer believed that this drug is an antidipsotropic.