Acamprosate

What If I Take an Overdose?

It is not known what exactly to expect from an overdose of acamprosate. In reported cases, even high doses of the drug did not cause serious problems.
 
If you happen to overdose on acamprosate, seek immediate medical attention.
 
(Click Campral Overdose for more information.)
 

How Should It Be Stored?

The tablets should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep acamprosate and all other medications out of the reach of children.
 

What Should I Do If I Miss a Dose of Acamprosate?

If you forget to take a dose, take your missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, simply skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose.
 

How Does It Work?

It is not entirely clear how acamprosate works to encourage abstinence from alcohol. The drug does have certain effects on two different brain chemicals: glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Because long-term alcohol use can disrupt the balance of brain chemicals, acamprosate may work by helping to return disrupted brain chemicals back to normal levels. Acamprosate does not, however, prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The effects of the drug in the brain seem to be limited to reducing alcohol dependence; it does not appear to have any anti-anxiety, antidepressant, or anti-seizure properties.
 
Acamprosate does not work like most other alcohol dependence medications. It will not cause any unpleasant reactions when combined with alcohol, and it is not habit-forming.
 

Effects

Many studies have shown that acamprosate is effective at helping people remain alcohol-free after they have been through detoxification ("detox"). These studies showed that people who took acamprosate were more likely to stay alcohol-free, compared to people who took a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients). The people in the acamprosate and the placebo groups were in counseling as well.
 
These studies did not show that acamprosate was effective for people who had not gone through detox and who were not required to be alcohol-free at the start of treatment.
 
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