Addiction Coping and Recovery Methods and Support Can You Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer While on Antabuse? Antabuse Reacts With Any Source of Alcohol By Buddy T Buddy T Facebook Twitter Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Learn about our editorial process Updated on August 14, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE Medically reviewed by John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Sally Anscombe / Getty Images If you are taking Antabuse (disulfiram), will you have a reaction if you drink non-alcoholic beer? You should avoid non-alcoholic beer when you are taking this medication, for more than one reason. How Non-Alcoholic Beer Reacts With Antabuse First of all, non-alcoholic beer (NA beer) is not really totally free of alcohol. You will see it called "near beer" or "low-alcohol beer." Typically, most brands of non-alcoholic beer on the market today contain about 0.5% alcohol. Antabuse is designed to cause anyone who drinks alcohol while taking it severe discomfort. By interfering with the normal metabolic process of alcohol, Antabuse can cause a wide range of symptoms from mild to very severe. When taking a therapeutic dose of Antabuse, consuming alcohol can result in a range of symptoms including nausea, vertigo, heart palpitations, and facial flushing. This response is proportionate to both the dose of Antabuse as well as the dose of alcohol. Some people have reported some mild aversive reactions to non-alcoholic beer, although the accuracy of these reports is not clear. Previous research had also shown no adverse reactions among people who have used small amounts of communion wine or used bronchial sprays or ear drops containing small amounts of ethanol. Antabuse (Disulfiram) Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder Exposure to Non-Alcoholic Beer Can Trigger Temptation Beyond the potential side effects of mixing non-alcoholic beer and Antabuse, people who have issues with alcohol should ideally stay away from these "near beer" products. Drinking non-alcoholic beer can trigger a craving for alcohol. The smell of the beer is especially a powerful trigger. If a person is struggling to maintain sobriety, this is a stimulation they should avoid. The small amount of alcohol in the near beer may be a problem as well in encouraging a relapse. Another factor is the social situation in which you drink the non-alcoholic beer. If you are socializing with friends who were your drinking buddies and they are drinking alcohol, it may be difficult to remain sober. To maintain your sobriety, most experts recommend breaking those patterns and staying out of that social situation. How might you react if your friends challenge you to have a sip of "real beer" or ridicule your choice of a non-alcoholic drink? If Someone Says They Are Drinking Non-Alcoholic Beer When on Antabuse One problem that family members face in trying to support their alcoholic relatives is that often they cannot respond to the actual circumstances because they are not being told the truth. One woman relates that her husband stopped drinking after a traffic crash and was using Antabuse to enforce his sobriety. However, he began drinking non-alcoholic beer. Soon, he was returning home appearing to have drunk alcohol but without the physical effects that Antabuse should produce. He was probably not taking the Antabuse and had likely returned to regular beer. This is fairly typical behavior for people with a substance or alcohol use disorder. If someone says they are taking Antabuse when they are also drinking non-alcoholic beer, this may be a warning sign. Those who are truly addicted will do anything to protect their drug of choice and unfortunately, that includes lying to those who are the closest to them. Although their dishonesty causes them all kinds of problems at home as well as at work or school, it's not as important to the person with the alcohol use disorder as being able to continue to drink. A Word From Verywell For friends and family members dealing with the sometimes confusing and frustrating behavior of an alcoholic or an addict, help, and support is available in Al-Anon Family Groups from others who are or have been in similar circumstances. How to Help an Alcoholic 4 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Stokes M, Abdijadid S. Disulfiram. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Schaefer JM. On the potential health effects of consuming "non-alcoholic" or "de-alcoholized" beverages. Alcohol. 1987;4(2):87-95. doi: 10.1016/0741-8329(87)90004-8 Rothstein E. Use of disulfiram (Antabuse) in alcoholism. The New England Journal of Medicine. 1970 Oct;283(17):936. doi:10.1056/nejm197010222831718 Long CG, Cohen EM. Low alcohol beers and wines: attitudes of problem drinkers to their use and their effect on craving. Br J Addict. 1989;84(7):777-83. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.1989.tb03057.x Additional Reading Antabuse—(Diethylthiocarbamoyl Disulfide). New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Smells May Trigger Alcohol Craving, and Relapse, Among Alcoholics. Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network. By Buddy T Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Get Treatment for Addiction Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.