Generic Name: acamprosate (a KAM proe sate)
Brand Names: Campral
What is Campral?
Campral affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced in a person who is addicted to alcohol. Campral works by restoring this chemical balance in the brain in an alcohol-dependent person who has recently quit drinking.
Campral is used to help a person who has recently quit drinking alcohol continue to choose not to drink (remain abstinent from alcohol). Campral is used together with behavior modification and counseling support to help you stop drinking.
Campral is not likely to be helpful to a person who has not already quit drinking or undergone detoxification. It may not be helpful to a person who is also addicted to other substances besides alcohol.
Important information about CampralYou should not use Campral if you are allergic to acamprosate, or if you have severe kidney disease.
Campral will not treat or prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Before you take Campral, tell your doctor if you have any type of kidney problem. You may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication.You may have thoughts about suicide while you are taking Campral. Tell your doctor if you feel depressed or have any suicidal thoughts or actions during treatment.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or behavior. Make sure your caregivers know how to contact your doctor in case you have mood changes or suicidal thoughts or actions.Campral can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Take Campral for the full prescribed length of time, even if you relapse and drink alcohol. While you are taking Campral, tell your doctor about any alcoholic drinks you consume, no matter how many.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Campral?You should not use Campral if you are allergic to acamprosate, or if you have severe kidney disease.
Campral will not treat or prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Before you take Campral, tell your doctor if you have any type of kidney problem. You may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication.FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Campral is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether acamprosate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. You may have thoughts about suicide while you are taking Campral. Tell your doctor if you feel depressed or have any suicidal thoughts or actions during treatment.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or behavior. Make sure your caregivers know how to contact your doctor in case you have mood changes or suicidal thoughts or actions.
How should I take Campral?
Take Campral exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Campral treatment should be started as soon as possible after you have quit drinking.Take this medicine with water.
Campral is usually taken 3 times daily, and may be taken with or without food. If you regularly eat 3 meals per day, it may help you remember to take your Campral if you take a dose with each meal. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Campral is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes counseling support and continued abstinence from alcohol.Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time, even if you relapse and drink alcohol. While you are taking Campral, tell your doctor about any alcoholic drinks you consume, no matter how many.
It is important to use Campral regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.Store Campral at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Campral dosage (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose can cause diarrhea but is not expected to produce serious side effects.
What should I avoid while taking Campral?Campral can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Campral side effectsGet emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effects such as:
mood or behavior changes;
thoughts about hurting yourself;
severe anxiety or depression;
feeling like you might pass out;
fast or pounding heartbeats;
swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath;
confusion, increased thirst; or
urinating less than usual or not at all.
Less serious Campral side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
headache, dizziness, drowsiness;
problems with memory or thinking;
weakness, cold or flu-like symptoms;
back pain, joint or muscle pain;
dry mouth, decreased or distorted sense of taste;
sleep problems (insomnia);
impotence, loss of interest in sex;
sweating, mild skin rash; or
numbness or tingly feeling.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Campral side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Campral?
There may be other drugs that can interact with Campral. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More Campral resources
Compare Campral with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Campral.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.