Compare acamprosate vs. Naltrexone

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

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Campral (acamprosate)

Prescription only

Vivitrol (Naltrexone)

Prescription only
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.

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.
  • 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
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Delayed release
  • Pill
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
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Side effects
14possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
    17%
  • Insomnia
    6%
  • Weakness
    5%
  • Anxiety
    5%
  • Generalized pain
    4%
  • Flatulence
    4%
  • Nausea
    4%
  • Depression
    4%
  • Itching
    4%
  • Accidental injury
    3%
  • Dizziness
    3%
  • Loss of appetite
    2%
  • Tingling or prickling sensation
    2%
  • Sweating
    2%
See more detailed side effects
9possible side effects
  • Nausea
    10%
  • Headache
    7%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Nervousness
    4%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Insomnia
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Anxiety
    2%
  • Somnolence
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Not for alcohol withdrawal
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Opioid overdose
    • Prior use of opioid medications
    • Use of Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
  • Opioid withdrawal
    • Current use of opioid medications
    • New use of Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
  • Risk to unborn babies
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Breast-feeding while taking Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
  • Liver injury
See more detailed risks and warnings