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September 13, 1952


JAMA. 1952;150(2):79-83. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.03680020013004

Tetraethylthiuram dilsulfide (antabuse®), which produces a pronounced intolerance to alcohol, has been available in North America for investigative and therapeutic use since January, 1949. The purpose of this paper is to augment the observations previously reported1 from this clinic and to present the findings in 193 alcoholic patients followed up for two and one-half years.

Tetraethylthiuram disulfide and similar chemicals have been used for many years in the vulcanization of rubber. It has long been known that in workers in the tire industry severe reactions frequently developed after drinking alcohol.2 Little attention was paid to this observation until 1948, when a group of Danish investigators in search of a vermifuge tried tetraethylthiuram disulfide, among many other substances. Though it was ineffective in this regard, during the course of self-experimentation these researchers noted the peculiar properties of this chemical with respect to the ingestion of alcohol and with unusual