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Acamprosate

Brands and Forms

  • Campral
    • delayed-release tablet: 333mg acamprosate calcium (equivalent to 300mg acamprosate)

Uses of Acamprosate

Acamprosate helps individuals who have recovered from alcohol dependence to remain abstinent from alcohol use.

How Acamprosate Works

The mechanisms of action of Acamprosate are not fully understood, but the drug seems to act on glutamate and GABA pathways in the brain, which are known to be affected by alcohol use, and to restore the balance of these pathways.

Cautions when Using Acamprosate

Standard precautions.

Dosing of Acamprosate

Acamprosate is effective at 666mg three times a day, and can be started at that dose.

Kidney impairment

Start with 333mg 3 times daily in patients with moderate renal function impairment (Ccr 30-50ml/min). Do not administer to patients with severe renal function impairment (Ccr 30 ml/min or less).

Liver impairment

No dose adjustment required.

Side-effects of Acamprosate

Below is a list of most of the reported side-effects of Acamprosate. Most of these side-effects occur in only a minority of individuals who take it, and in general it is well tolerated.

Cardiovascular: palpitations; syncope (fainting); peripheral edema.

Central Nervous System: insomnia; muscle weakness; depressed or anxious moods; dizziness; paresthesias; headaches; somnolence; decreased libido; cognitive dulling; tremor.

Dermatologic: pruritus (itching); sweating; rash.

Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat: dry mouth; pharyngitis; abnormal vision; taste perversion.

Gastrointestinal: diarrhea; nausea; loss of appetite or increased appetite; weight gain; abdominal pain; flatulence; vomiting; dyspepsia; constipation.

Genitourinary: impotence; acute kidney failure.

Musculoskeletal: back pain; muscle pains; joint pains.

Respiratory: rhinitis; increased cough; dyspnea; bronchitis.

Common side-effects of Acamprosate

Diarrhea, insomnia.

Acamprosate overdose

Diarrhea can occur. No fatalities reported.

Acamprosate and pregnancy

Category C: some animal studies show adverse effects at very high doses, but no controlled human studies have been done; should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed and if benefits outweigh potential risks.

Medical monitoring for Acamprosate

None required in healthy individuals.

Drug interactions with Acamprosate

No clinically significant interactions.