Acamprosate

Generic Name: acamprosate (a-kam-PROE-sate)
Brand Name: Campral

Acamprosate is used for:

Treating alcohol addiction by helping certain patients to avoid alcohol. Acamprosate is used in combination with a treatment program that includes social support.

Acamprosate is an anti-alcohol agent. It is thought to work by restoring the balance of certain chemicals in the brain of patients who have used large amounts of alcohol.

Do NOT use acamprosate if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in acamprosate
  • you have severe kidney problems

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using acamprosate:

Some medical conditions may interact with acamprosate. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems or a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behaviors

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with acamprosate. However, no specific interactions with acamprosate are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if acamprosate may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use acamprosate:

Use acamprosate as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Acamprosate may be taken with or without food.
  • Swallow whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • Continue to take acamprosate even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of acamprosate, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use acamprosate.

Important safety information:

  • Acamprosate may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to acamprosate. Using acamprosate alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using acamprosate. Continue taking acamprosate even if you begin drinking alcohol again. Discuss any drinking with your doctor.
  • Alcohol-dependent patients should be monitored for the development of depression or suicidal thinking. Patients and their families or caregivers should pay close attention to changes in moods or actions, especially if changes occur suddenly. Contact your health care provider right away if any of the following effects occur or worsen: depression, anxiety, restlessness or irritability, panic attacks, thoughts or attempts of suicide, or other unusual changes in behavior or mood.
  • Acamprosate will not reduce or eliminate alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Acamprosate has been shown to help you avoid alcohol only in combination with a treatment program that includes counseling and support. Discuss treatment program options with your doctor.
  • Use acamprosate with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use acamprosate with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using acamprosate during pregnancy. It is unknown if acamprosate is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using acamprosate, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of acamprosate:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; gas; loss of appetite; nausea; trouble sleeping; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); anxiety; behavior changes; depression; mental or mood changes; nervousness; panic attacks; restlessness; suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea.

Proper storage of acamprosate:

Store acamprosate at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep acamprosate out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about acamprosate, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Acamprosate is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take acamprosate or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about acamprosate. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to acamprosate. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using acamprosate.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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