Generic name: Acamprosate calciumBrand names: Campral
Campral is prescribed to treat alcohol dependence. It helps people who have already stopped drinking alcohol keep from starting again.
You must be alcohol-free before taking Campral for it to work. You must also be prepared to follow a complete alcohol treatment plan that includes mental and behavioral health counseling.
Campral is thought to work by restoring and regulating brain chemicals that have been disrupted by long-term exposure to alcohol. Campral is not used for any type of substance dependence other than alcohol.
Individuals being treated with Campral and their caregivers should be aware that alcohol dependence and mental health problems frequently occur together. Pay special attention to any worsening of depression or any new symptoms that occur while taking Campral—especially agitation, anxiety, hostility, and suicidal thoughts or behavior—and report them to the doctor immediately.
Campral may be taken with food or on an empty stomach. However, taking it with meals may make it easier to keep on a regular schedule. Continue taking Campral regularly even if you experience a relapse.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe to continue using Campral.
You cannot use Campral if you have severe kidney disease. You must also avoid the drug if it causes an allergic reaction.
You must completely avoid alcohol while taking Campral. If you begin drinking again, keep taking Campral and call your doctor right away to discuss your relapse. Campral does not relieve the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Use Campral with caution if you have kidney problems.
Because mental health problems and alcoholism frequently occur together, tell your doctor about any change in mood or behavior while using Campral (see "Most important fact about Campral").
Campral could affect your judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Do not drive, operate dangerous machinery, or participate in hazardous activities until you know how Campral affects you.
At this time, there are no documented drug interactions with Campral. However, you should always tell the doctor about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Campral has not been studied in pregnant women and should be used only if the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Be sure to tell your doctor if you're pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
In lab studies Campral showed up in the milk of breastfeeding animals. It is not known whether Campral appears in human breast milk. Your doctor may advise you not to breastfeed while taking Campral.
The usual starting dose is two tablets (each tablet contains 333 milligrams) taken three times a day, for a total of six tablets a day. Your doctor may lower the dose as needed.
People with moderate kidney disease take half the regular dose—one tablet three times a day.
The safety and effectiveness of Campral have not been studied in children.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency treatment immediately. Symptoms of Campral overdose may include diarrhea.