Is disulfiram a useful treatment?

Disulfiram is a drug that is currently prescribed for chronic alcoholism. It has some very unpleasant side-effects, such as making you extremely sensitive to alcohol and causing mental health deterioration. [1,2] However, it is known to have properties that can kill microbes, such as bacteria, in a laboratory setting.

Some people take disulfiram to treat persistent symptoms of Lyme Disease although it is not currently licensed for this use. This means that clinical trials have not yet shown that the benefit of disulfiram for this purpose out-weighs the risks. [2]


  1. British National Formulary. Accessed 17 March 2021
  2. Gao J et al.  “Repurposing” Disulfiram in the Treatment of Lyme Disease and Babesiosis: Retrospective Review of First 3 Years’ Experience in One Medical Practice. Antibiotics [Internet]. 2020 Dec 4;9(12):868.
  3. Disulfiram: A Test of Symptom Reduction Among Patients With Previously Treated Lyme Disease Accessed March 4, 2021