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Alcohol Alcohol ; 55(4): 354-356, 2020 Jun 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-245703


AIM: In view of the increase in the use of ethanol-containing hand sanitizers throughout the world due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we wished to review the possible risks to patients treated with disulfiram, following a case report in which an apparent DER (disulfiram-ethanol reaction) was attributed to the cutaneous absorption of alcohol from hand sanitizers as well as by inhalation of vapour. METHOD: Simple experiments to assess the levels of absorption by each route separately. RESULTS: Our results strongly suggest that while amounts of alcohol sufficient to cause a DER may be inhaled when hand sanitizers are used in confined spaces, absorption can be avoided by dispersal of the fumes, and absorption from the skin alone does not occur in pharmacologically significant quantities. CONCLUSION: Warnings about absorption of alcohol through the skin from hand sanitizers and products such as perfumes, deodorants and after-shave (whose use is often warned against when disulfiram is prescribed) should be modified accordingly.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Disulfiram/adverse effects , Disulfiram/chemistry , Ethanol/chemistry , Ethanol/pharmacokinetics , Hand Sanitizers/adverse effects , Hand Sanitizers/pharmacokinetics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Administration, Inhalation , Breath Tests/methods , COVID-19 , Disulfiram/pharmacokinetics , Disulfiram/therapeutic use , Ethanol/administration & dosage , Ethanol/adverse effects , Hand Sanitizers/administration & dosage , Hand Sanitizers/chemistry , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin Absorption/drug effects