|Type of medicine||A medicine used in alcohol dependence|
|Used for||To help maintain abstinence in people who have successfully overcome drinking problems|
|Also called||Campral EC®|
Acamprosate is used to help you maintain abstinence from alcohol if you have previously been alcohol-dependent and have now stopped drinking. It is useful alongside counselling if you are concerned that cravings for alcohol may result in you drinking again. It is started as soon as possible after alcohol has been stopped, and works by reducing your desire to drink alcohol.
Before taking acamprosate
Before taking acamprosate make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take acamprosate
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
- Take acamprosate tablets exactly as your doctor has told you.
- The number of tablets you will be asked to take will depend on your weight. Your doctor will let you know the dose which is right for you.
- Acamprosate is taken three times a day. Take each of your doses with a snack or just after a meal.
- Swallow the tablets whole, do not chew or crush them as they have a special coating.
- Try to take acamprosate at the same times each day to avoid missing any doses.
- If you do forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor and counsellor. This is so your progress can be checked.
- Make sure your family and friends know how important it is that you do not drink any alcohol so they can be a support to you.
Can acamprosate cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects - these affect around 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace the lost fluids|
|Feeling or being sick, stomach ache||Eat little and often, and avoid rich or spicy foods. If you are sick, drink plenty of water|
|Itchy skin rash||Your pharmacist may be able to recommend a cream for short-term use. Speak with your doctor if this becomes troublesome|
|Reduced desire to have sex||If you are concerned about this, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store acamprosate
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Hannah Gronow|
|Last Checked: 15/11/2011||Document ID: 3709 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.