I started taking generic Antabuse about two weeks ago. I’ve had a kind of low grade queasiness on and off most of that time, and I’ve needed to vomit more than a few times. Haven’t drunk alcohol at all, not a drop, so I’m considering other sources: food and personal care products.

I was very worried about alcohol in these areas at first, so I ordered a lot of alcohol free items: deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, cologne, facial cleanser, moisturizer... I think I went a bit overboard, and have since learned that lots of things labeled ‘alcohol’ in such products are not ethyl alcohol, but rather some kind of fatty alcohol molecule, not what gets you drunk or sick on Antabuse. But a lot of these products, and medicines and syrups, do have ethyl alcohol, so I’m still being really careful. And something is making me sick.

Has anyone had a reaction to alcohol in personal care products?

Food products seem trickier. I really like kimchi and other fermented foods like sauerkraut. I’m being cautious with those, and also vinegar. But I do eat a bit of kimchi, maybe sriracha or gochujang (fermented red pepper paste), rice vinegar in sushi rice, a lot of soy sauce... (No, I’m not Asian, but I love Asian food.) I use ‘sugar alcohols’ (xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol... ) in some foods, and have read that they’re all in the ‘not ethyl alcohol’ category, but something is doing this.

What sort of experiences with dietary issues have you had? Have you dealt with any of this stuff? I’m of course asking my doctor, but would love to hear from others on the medication.