Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Neuro/psych

Campral 

(acamprosate)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Neuro/psych
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Treats alcoholism.

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Our bottom line

Campral (acamprosate) reduces your craving for alcohol, but it works better if you're also in a support group.

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Prices and coupons for 180 (333mg) tablets of acamprosate
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Upsides

  • 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.

Downsides

  • 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).
How it works

Campral (acamprosate) is a GABA agonist and glutamate antagonist. It lowers your cravings and need for alcohol.

What to expect when you take Campral (acamprosate) for Alcoholism

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Side effect rates for Campral (acamprosate)

3245 From clinical trials of acamprosate / Alcohol abuse (1998 mg/day)
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Generalized pain
  • Itching
  • Passing gas
  • Nausea
  • Low mood disorder
  • Dizziness

Risks and Warnings for Campral (acamprosate)

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  • Studies found that people taking Campral (acamprosate) had higher rates of suicide. If your mood worsens while taking Campral (acamprosate) or you feel that you want to hurt yourself, talk to your doctor right away.

Common concerns from people taking Campral (acamprosate)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • 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.
Kidneys and liver
  • If you have severe kidney damage, you can't take Campral (acamprosate).