How it works
What is Acamprosate?
Acamprosate is a drug used to fight alcohol dependence in a person who has recently quit drinking by helping him or her to continue living without cravings for alcohol. This medication alters the chemical activity in the brain of an alcohol dependent person which may have become unbalanced due to addiction. It works by fixing this chemical imbalance. Acamprosate is used along with behavior changes and proper counseling support to help a person quit his or her drinking habit
Acamprosate is available under several brands names throughout the world, some of which are Campral, Acamprol (made by Sun Pharma). This medication will not be effective on people who still continue to drink alcohol, have undergone detoxification, or are addicted to other substances other than alcohol.
Important Information about Acamprosate
Do not take Acamprosate medication (Campral, Acamprol) if you are allergic to its active ingredient that is Acamprosate, or if you are suffering from severe kidney disease. This medication will not be effective in stopping alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Let your doctor know if you have any other type of kidney problem (non serious). You may need dose adjustments and special medical tests in order to take Acamprosate medication safely.
Acamprosate medication brings about mood and behavior changes. You may get suicidal thoughts while taking this medication. Let your doctor know if you feel depressed and get unpleasant thoughts. Your family members and caretakers must be made aware of your mood and behavior changes and they must know how to contact your doctor in case of an episode of such changes thoughts.
Acamprosate can lead to side effects that may affect your thinking and reflexes capacity. Be extra careful and alert if you do an activity like driving which requires a high degree of mental awareness. If you drink any alcoholic drinks while taking Acamprosate medication, notify your doctor irrespective of the number of drinks you had.
Before taking Acamprosate
Take care of all precautions and points mentioned above. Discuss them with your doctor and clarify all doubts about Acamprosate (Campral, Acamprol) benefits and side effects.
Acamprosate belongs to FDA pregnancy category C which means it may be harmful to your unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. Let your doctor know about your pregnancy or any plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether Acamprosate can get into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Let your doctor know if you are breast feeding before using this medication.
How should I take Acamprosate medication?
You must take Acamprosate medication (Campral, Acamprol) strictly as prescribed by your doctor and no change in the dosage must be made whatsoever without your doctorâ€™s advice.
Start taking Acamprosate medication as soon as possible after you have stopped drinking alcohol. Take this medication with water. It may be taken with or without food. However, if you regularly eat 3 meals a day, it would be easy to remember to take this medication if you take it after having a meal.
Acamprosate medication will not treat your alcohol dependence single handedly. It requires professional counseling and continued avoidance of alcohol consumption. Remember to take this medication for the complete prescribed length of time without any changes, even if you revert back to alcohol habit. Notify your doctor if you consume alcohol while taking Acamprosate.
Always store Acamprosate medication in a cool and dry place, away from any kind of heat and moisture. Ensure that children or pets donâ€™t have access to this medication.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Acamprosate, take it as soon as you remember. Donâ€™t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses near to each other can lead to excess medication in your body which can be dangerous.
What if I overdose?
Overdosing on Acamprosate medication can lead to diarrhea but not any other serious side effects.
What should I avoid while taking Acamprosate?
Acamprosate can lead to side effects that may affect your thinking and reflexes capacity. Be extra careful and alert if you do an activity like driving which requires a high degree of mental awareness.
Side Effects of Acamprosate medication
Get emergency medical attention if you witness some allergic reactions to Acamprosate (Campral, Acamprol) like skin hives, breathing difficulty, swelling in face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Some serious side effects of Acamprosate are changes in mood or behavior, self hurting and suicidal thoughts, severe depression or anxiety, or confusion. Contact your doctor in case you experience any of these side effects.
Some less serious side effects of Acamprosate are nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, appetite loss, diarrhea, headache, vision problems, weakness, back pain, changes in taste, or insomnia.
The side effects mentioned above are not all the side effects reported or experienced due to Acamprosate. You may notice other side effects as well.
Acamprosate Dosing Information
Acamprosate dosage will be fixed by your doctor after examining you properly. Dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Stick to your doctorâ€™s prescription strictly.
Interaction with other drugs
There may be other drugs which can interfere with the working of Acamprosate medication (Campral, Acamprol). Let you doctor know if you use any drugs (prescription, OTC, herbal products) presently. Never start a new medication without consulting a doctor first.
- You should not be drinking at the start and during acamprosate treatment as it will be less effective if you keep drinking.
- When you suddenly stop drinking, you may experience some unpleasant symptoms known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome. You should take acamprosate as soon as possible after the withdrawal period.
- Alcoholic patients may suffer from depression and suicidality. Please report your treating doctor in case of any such symptoms.
- Consult your doctor before stopping to take acamprosate.
- Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
Frequently asked questions
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