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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Campral

Generic Name: acamprosate (Pronunciation: a KAM proe sate)

What is acamprosate (Campral)?

Acamprosate affects chemicals in the brain that may become 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.

Acamprosate is used to help a person who has recently quit drinking alcohol continue to choose not to drink (remain abstinent from alcohol). It is used together with behavior modification and counseling support to help you stop drinking.

Acamprosate is not likely to be helpful to a person who has not already quit drinking or undergone detoxification. It may not be helpful to a person who is also addicted to other substances besides alcohol.

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

Campral 333 mg

round, white, imprinted with 333

What are the possible side effects of acamprosate (Campral)?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effects such as:

  • mood or behavior changes;
  • thoughts about hurting yourself;
  • severe anxiety or depression;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath;
  • confusion, increased thirst; or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • constipation, diarrhea;
  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness;
  • vision problems;
  • problems with memory or thinking;
  • weakness, cold or flu-like symptoms;
  • back pain, joint or muscle pain;
  • dry mouth, decreased or distorted sense of taste;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • impotence, loss of interest in sex;
  • sweating, mild skin rash; 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 is the most important information I should know about acamprosate (Campral)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to acamprosate, or if you have severe kidney disease.

Acamprosate will not treat or prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Before you take acamprosate, tell your doctor if you have any type of kidney problem. You may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication.

You may have thoughts about suicide while you are taking acamprosate. Tell your doctor if you feel depressed or have any suicidal thoughts or actions during treatment.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or behavior. Make sure your caregivers know how to contact your doctor in case you have mood changes or suicidal thoughts or actions.

Acamprosate 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 this medication for the full prescribed length of time, even if you relapse and drink alcohol. While you are taking acamprosate, tell your doctor about any alcoholic drinks you consume, no matter how many.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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