What is acamprosate?
Acamprosate is used to help maintain sobriety in alcohol-dependent adults who no longer drink alcohol. acamprosate is used with behavioral therapy or counseling support to help prevent an urge to drink again. Acamprosate will not treat or prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Acamprosate may not be as effective if you have not gone through detox and stopped drinking alcohol completely. This medicine is also unlikely to be effective in people who abuse drugs or other substances.
Acamprosate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Use only as directed. Tell your doctor if you use other medicines or have other medical conditions or allergies.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use acamprosate if you are allergic to it, or if you have severe kidney disease.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had kidney problems.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking acamprosate. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How should I take acamprosate?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Start taking acamprosate as soon as possible after you have quit drinking.
May be taken with or without food. If you routinely eat 3 meals daily, take the medicine at each meal.
Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
Keep taking acamprosate as directed even if you relapse and drink alcohol. Tell your doctor about any alcohol you consume, no matter how much.
Your treatment will also include counseling support and continued abstinence from alcohol.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Acamprosate side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe anxiety or depression;
- mood or behavior changes;
- thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself;
- severe diarrhea; or
- kidney problems--swelling, urinating less, feeling tired or short of breath.
Common side effects may include:
- anxiety, depressed mood;
- sleep problems;
- pain, weakness;
- itching, sweating, tingling;
- nausea, diarrhea, gas, loss of appetite; or
- dry mouth.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
What other drugs will affect acamprosate?
Other drugs may affect acamprosate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.