Impact of an Alcohol-based hand sanitizer usage during COVID-19 pandemic on disulfiram treatment: A South Indian psychiatrist's practice experiences




Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer, Addiction, COVID-19, Disulfiram-Ethanol Reaction (DER)


Background: Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (ABHS) usage has become one of the COVID-19 pandemic-related adapted responses. Some disulfiram-ethanol reactions are reported in people who use alcohol-based hand rub/sanitizer and take Disulfiram as a treatment for their alcohol use disorders. Aim & Objective: To determine the practice experiences of psychiatrists on disulfiram prescription to alcohol use disorder victims. Methodology: A cross-sectional study on the psychiatrists to find the experiences of disulfiram prescription to their clients with alcohol use disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Nearly 84 (51%) were reverted with a completed questionnaire. Among the respondents, 28 (33.3%) of the respondents decreased to prescribe Disulfiram, 48 (57.1%) reported that their patients stopped using ABHS due to fear of Disulfiram-Ethanol Reaction (DER), and 20 (23.8%) responders notified that their patients were expressed their worry on DER with Disulfiram and ABHS. Conclusion: Disulfiram prescribed for alcohol use disorders; treatment got peculiar experiences with the incidences of DER reported with Alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Many practitioners were scared to prescribe disulfiram due to DER with ABHS. The prevailing evidence that there is no possibility of cutaneous application of ABHS producing enough significant DER. Hence using ABHS is not a contraindication for disulfiram prescription.


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How to Cite

Dhagudu NK, Pallavi M, Gouthami B, Narapureddy BR, Reddy M, Attili S, et al. Impact of an Alcohol-based hand sanitizer usage during COVID-19 pandemic on disulfiram treatment: A South Indian psychiatrist’s practice experiences. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2022 Dec. 31 [cited 2024 Jul. 19];34(4):549-53. Available from:



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