Acamprosate Treatment: Exploring Acamprosate For Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) poses a significant challenge to individuals worldwide, impacting both mental and physical health. As we learn more about Acamprosate treatment, it is crucial to understand its mechanisms of action, effectiveness, potential side effects for those seeking support in their journey towards recovery.

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What is Acamprosate?

Acamprosate (Brand name: Campral) a key player in alcohol addiction treatment programs, helps people maintain abstinence from alcohol. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it acts on the central nervous system, reducing the brain chemical imbalances associated with alcohol withdrawal and craving.

The standard dose of Acamprosate is 666mg (two 333mg tablets) three times a day.

Effectiveness of Acamprosate

According to clinical studies, Acamprosate has been proven effective in reducing alcohol cravings and promoting abstinence from alcohol. The drug’s impact on sustained recovery rates makes it a valuable tool in the fight against alcohol use disorder.

How Does Acamprosate Work?

Acamprosate operates by modulating neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly glutamate, to alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with abstinence from alcohol. Aside from this, Acamprosate also works by:

Boosting GABA and Taurine

These calming brain chemicals help reduce brain overactivity associated with cravings. Acamprosate structurally resembles these molecules, potentially enhancing their activity.

NMDA Receptor Regulation

Some studies suggest that Acamprosate can influence NMDA receptors, reducing cravings and reward sensitivity to alcohol.

Calcium Modulation

Calcium signaling is crucial for brain cell communication. Also known as Acamprosate calcium, the drug can potentially influence these pathways to impact cravings and reward-seeking behaviors.

How long does Acamprosate take to work?

Acamprosate typically takes some time to show its full therapeutic effects, and the timeline can vary from person to person. It typically works after a few weeks of consistent use and the longer you take the drug, the more significant its effects can become.

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As with any medication, Acamprosate comes with its set of potential side effects, some more common than the others. Most of these adverse reactions are mild and temporary, and can disappear on their own as time goes. However, it is important to inform healthcare professionals and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

Additionally, not everyone can experience all these adverse effects as people react differently with drugs.

Side Effects of Acamprosate

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Anxiety or Depression

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Having Suicidal Thoughts

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Chest Pain

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Weight Gain or Loss

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Kidney Problems

Warnings and Contraindications

Tell your doctor your pre-existing medical conditions or medical history before using Acamprosate. Inform them as well of any allergic reactions you may have with the drug.

This will ensure that the medication is safe for you to use and will not cause any harmful drug interactions. In particular, those with kidney disease should not take Acamprosate without prior consultation.

Dosage and Administration

Meanwhile, three 333 mg tablets per day is the dosage for people with moderate renal impairment (creatinine clearance 30 to 50 mL/min).

Can you drink on Acamprosate?

Doctors generally do not recommend consuming or drinking alcohol while taking Acamprosate. While there are no immediate negative reactions, alcohol can disrupt the effectiveness of the drug.

Drinking even a small amount of alcohol can also trigger cravings and increase the risk of relapse. Overdose, which can be life-threatening, can also happen, so practice abstinence from alcohol while taking the drug.

Acamprosate offers several potential benefits for individuals recovering from alcohol dependence, making it a valuable tool in their treatment plans. Here are some key advantages:

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Acamprosate can significantly reduce cravings for alcohol, making it a good choice for recovery.

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People undergoing Acamprosate treatment exhibit higher abstinence rates compared to those relying solely on other methods.

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Acamprosate users often report an improvement in mood and a reduction in anxiety, contributing to an overall sense of well-being.

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Acamprosate is not habit-forming and does not produce a “high”. This makes it a safer option for those concerned about developing drug dependence.

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Acamprosate is broken down in the digestive system rather than the liver, which is more suitable for those with liver damage from alcohol use.

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Long-term sobriety is the ultimate goal of Acamprosate treatment. Combining Acamprosate with other forms of support maximizes the likelihood of recovery. These may include therapy, counseling or enrolling in a comprehensive treatment plan.

Our addiction specialists at The Hope House bring hope to those struggling with alcohol addiction. We offer luxury rehab and a comprehensive treatment plan which may include Acamprosate to address your needs. Reach out to our team today and discover suitable treatment options for you.

Remember, there is hope.

  • According to the World Health Organization, around 300 million people in the world are affected with alcohol use disorder, and half of them have alcohol dependence.
  • Clinical investigations show that acamprosate significantly enhanced the cumulative length of abstinence by 11% and decreased the likelihood of relapsing to any drinking by 86% when compared to placebo during treatment.
  • In a one-year follow-up study, the levels of abstinence with acamprosate in placebo-controlled trials ranged between 18% and 35%.

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