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Generic Name: acamprosate (a KAM proe sate)
Brand Names: Campral

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 11, 2019.

The Campral brand name has been discontinued in the U.S. If generic versions of this product have been approved by the FDA, there may be generic equivalents available.

What is Campral?

Campral (acamprosate) affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in a person who is addicted to alcohol. Acamprosate works by restoring this chemical balance in the brain in an alcohol-dependent person who has recently quit drinking.

Campral is used together with behavior modification and counseling support to help a person who has recently quit drinking alcohol continue to choose not to drink.

Campral is not likely to be helpful if you have not already quit drinking or undergone detoxification. It may not help you if you are also addicted to other substances besides alcohol.

Campral may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not use Campral if you have severe kidney disease.

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 this medicine, tell your doctor about any alcoholic drinks you consume, no matter how many.

Before taking this medicine

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.

To make sure Campral is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any type of kidney problem.

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking Campral. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

It is not known whether acamprosate will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether acamprosate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Campral?

Take Campral exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Start taking Campral as soon as possible after you have quit drinking.

You may take Campral with or without food.

Do not crush, chew, or break a delayed-release tablet. Swallow the tablet whole.

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.

Use this medicine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Campral is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes counseling support and continued abstinence from alcohol.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Campral dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Alcohol Dependence:

666 mg orally three times a day

Usual Geriatric Dose for Alcohol Dependence:

666 mg orally three times a day

Since geriatric patients may be more prone to a decrease in renal function, the manufacturer advises greater care in dose selection and close monitoring of renal function during therapy in this population.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Alcohol Dependence:

There are no data on the safety and efficacy of acamprosate in this population.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Campral?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Campral side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to Campral: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe anxiety or depression;

  • mood or behavior changes;

  • thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself;

  • swelling in your hands or feet; or

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest.

Common Campral side effects may include:

  • pain or weakness;

  • loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, gas;

  • dizziness, anxiety;

  • itching or sweating;

  • depressed mood;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • dry mouth; 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.

What other drugs will affect Campral?

Other drugs may interact with Campral, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Campral only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.