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Acamprosate, marketed under the brand name Campral, is a medication used to treat alcohol dependence. The medication works by restoring normal brain function for those who have stopped drinking alcohol.
Used For: Alcohol Addiction
Benefits Include:
Reduced withdrawal symptoms
Less cravings
Reduced risk of relapse

What Is Acamprosate?

Acamprosate was first synthesized in the early 1970s by French scientists. However, it was not until the 1990s that clinical trials began to evaluate its effectiveness in treating alcoholism. In 2006, acamprosate became the first new medication for alcoholism to be approved by the FDA in over 20 years. Today, the medication helps reduce the risk of relapse for individuals who have abstained from drinking for a period of time.

How Does Acamprosate Work?

Acamprosate works by normalizing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that are affected by alcohol dependence. This process helps reduce cravings and anxiety. Restoring the neurotransmitter balance in the brain also helps improve individuals’ mood and their ability to sleep.

How Often Is Acamprosate Administered?

Acamprosate is typically taken three times a day. Generally, each dose is taken about eight hours apart. The medication can be taken with or without food, but it is important to take it consistently since it can be several weeks before individual’s feel the medication’s effects.

Adverse Reactions & Possible Side Effects of Acamprosate

While Acamprosate can be an effective way to help people recover from alcoholism, it is also associated with a number of potential side effects. These can include:
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
More serious, but rare, side effects can include allergic reactions, kidney problems, or liver problems.

Is Acamprosate Effective?

In clinical trials, acamprosate has been shown to reduce the rate of relapse in individuals who have abstained from drinking for a period of time. In addition, acamprosate has been shown to be effective in reducing the severity of symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia that are often associated with alcohol withdrawal.

While acamprosate can help people maintain their abstinence from alcohol, it is not a cure for alcoholism.