Published On: February 11, 2019281 words1.4 min read


Hi there, I’ve just joined Tribe Sober. I am planning to give up drinking completely for 3 months and then try and moderate. Is Nalttexone available in South Africa, or something similar?

I’m also suffering from huge huge anxiety and panic attacks in which I believe I’m going to die – which I believe are being heightened when I drink more than two glasses of wine a night. Is there anything you can recommend I take? I am also sometimes having suicidal thoughts, which then make me feel guilty.


Answer :

The medications available to prevent you from drinking are:

  1. Disulfiram (antabuse): blocks one of the enzymes that would break down the alcohol in your body. The effect of it is that the effects of a hangover are felt immediately after alcohol is consumed.
  2. Acamprostrate (Campral): mainly used for the maintenance of abstinence. It stabilises the chemicals signaling in the brain that would be disrupted by alcohol withdrawal. It is essentially an anti-craving drug.
  3. Naltrexone (Revia): designed to reduce/suppress the cravings for alcohol and opiate drugs.

All the above drugs need to be prescribed by a doctor, and their effects must be monitored by your doctor. The dose prescribed will be dependent on the assessment made by the doctor.

Anxiety or panic  attacks can be caused by many things and seem to be exacerbated by the alcohol. Having suicidal thoughts is possibly exacerbated by the alcohol. Given the severity of your symptoms and the presence of suicidal thoughts, a doctor’s consultation is recommended to try identify the reason for your anxiety and, where necessary, give you medication. The suicidal thoughts also need to be investigated and managed by a doctor.

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