Compare acamprosate vs. Naltrexone

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Campral
(acamprosate)

Vivitrol
(naltrexone)

Treats alcoholism. Campral (acamprosate) reduces your craving for alcohol, but it works better if you're also in a support group.Treats alcohol dependence and prevents relapse of addiction to opioids. Vivitrol (Naltrexone) is good for treating opioid and alcohol dependence. It needs to be used as directed and can't be used with alcohol or opioid pain medications.
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Prices and coupon for 180 (333mg) tablets of acamprosate
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Prices and coupon for 30 (50mg) tablets of naltrexone
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Campral (acamprosate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Vivitrol (naltrexone)?
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Side effects
acamprosateNaltrexone
  • Diarrhea 7%
  • Generalized pain 1%
  • Itching 1%
  • Passing gas 2%
  • Nausea 1%
More acamprosate side effects »
  • Nausea 10%
  • Headache 7%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Nervousness 4%
  • Fatigue 4%
  • Sleep difficulty 3%
  • Vomiting 3%
  • Anxiety 2%
  • Drowsiness 2%
More Naltrexone side effects »
How it works
acamprosateNaltrexone
Campral (acamprosate) is a GABA agonist and glutamate antagonist. It lowers your cravings and need for alcohol.Vivitrol (Naltrexone) blocks all opioid receptors in your body and prevents you from feeling the effects of opioid medications and alcohol.
Type of medication
acamprosateNaltrexone
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
acamprosateNaltrexone
  • Delayed release
  • Pill
Used for
acamprosateNaltrexone
Risk factors for serious side effects
acamprosateNaltrexone
      Detailed Campral (acamprosate) risks & warnings »
      • Prior use of opioid medications
      • Use of Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
      • Current use of opioid medications
      • New use of Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
      • Women of childbearing age
      • Breast-feeding while taking Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
        Detailed Vivitrol (naltrexone) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        Alcohol
        acamprosateNaltrexone
        • Unlike other medicines used for alcoholism, Campral (acamprosate) doesn't produce any unpleasant effects if you slip and have a drink. You can keep taking it if you break your sobriety, but talk to your doctor.
        • Can be used with behavior modification therapy to treat opioid or alcohol use disorders.
        • If you're taking Vivitrol (Naltrexone) for alcohol dependence, it'll make you not want to drink alcohol, but it won't stop the effects of alcohol if you do drink.
        Kidneys and liver
        acamprosateNaltrexone
        • If you have severe kidney damage, you can't take Campral (acamprosate).
        • Not a good choice if you have liver problems, depression, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
        Upsides and benefits
        acamprosateNaltrexone
        • Campral (acamprosate) reduces your cravings for alcohol and can help to maintain your sobriety.
        • Unlike other medicines used for alcoholism, Campral (acamprosate) doesn't produce any unpleasant effects if you slip and have a drink. You can keep taking it if you break your sobriety, but talk to your doctor.
        • Available in two different forms: a tablet you take every day and as a shot your doctor gives you once a month.
        • Good for people who have a mild opioid use disorder and who are highly motivated, or who can be supervised as they take their medication.
        • Can be used with behavior modification therapy to treat opioid or alcohol use disorders.
        • Higher success rates are seen in people who use this under supervision.
        • The tablet is available as a generic.
        Downsides and risks
        acamprosateNaltrexone
        • Campral (acamprosate) can't replace the support you get from counseling or group therapy for maintaining your sobriety.
        • Campral (acamprosate) doesn't treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
        • Campral (acamprosate) can be started only for those who have been able to safely stop drinking alcohol.
        • It may be difficult to remember to take Campral (acamprosate) three times daily.
        • If you have severe kidney damage, you can't take Campral (acamprosate).
        • People who try to take opioids after taking Vivitrol (Naltrexone) are at risk for opioid overdose and death since it takes a large amount of opioids to overcome the effects of Vivitrol (Naltrexone).
        • You won't be able to use any medications with opioids for pain relief since Vivitrol (Naltrexone) prevents them from working.
        • The shot is only available as brand name only, so it can be expensive.
        • Not a good choice if you have liver problems, depression, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        acamprosateNaltrexone
        • Campral (acamprosate) works better if you're also going to counseling or group therapy for alcoholism.
        • Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how Campral (acamprosate) affects you.
        • Taking Campral (acamprosate) won't help with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
        • If you break your sobriety while taking Campral (acamprosate), keep taking it, but talk to your doctor right away.
        • Before starting Vivitrol (Naltrexone), you should be off all opioid medications (including buprenorphine and methadone) for at least 7 to 10 days, otherwise you'll get withdrawal symptoms.
        • You'll need to use non-opioid pain medications (if necessary) while on Vivitrol (Naltrexone).
        • Wear a medical alert identification if you're taking Vivitrol (Naltrexone) since you would need to be given non-opioid medications in case of an emergency.
        • If you're taking Vivitrol (Naltrexone) for alcohol dependence, it'll make you not want to drink alcohol, but it won't stop the effects of alcohol if you do drink.
        • Vivitrol (Naltrexone) can make you feel dizzy the first few times you take it, so avoid doing anything requiring concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
        Learn more
        More about acamprosateSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Campral (acamprosate)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about NaltrexoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Vivitrol (naltrexone)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it