Campral (Acamprosate) is an alcohol anti-addiction medicineused to reduce alcohol cravings in alcohol addicts who have completed medical detox or alcohol detox. It has shown to reduce cravings by restoring the balance in certain neurotransmitter pathways that have been altered due to alcohol addiction. Campral helps to control the systems in the brain responsible for relaxation and energy in order to keep them in balance.
This alcohol anti-addiction medicine is sometimes utilized at Enterhealth, because many of our patients have developed a tolerance to alcohol, modifying the systems in their brains. Campral serves to alleviate certain alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating, while decreasing cravings and the chances of alcohol addiction relapse. Campral reestablishes a normal balance between control systems in the brain to help patients restore calm, handle stress more effectively, and focus better with a decreased desire for alcohol.
Campral (Acamprosate) has been a widely used alcohol anti-addiction medicine in Europe since the late 1980s and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004 to treat alcohol dependence and addiction in the United States. The precise cellular target of Campral is unknown, but it appears to decrease cravings primarily by restoring the balance in certain neurotransmitter pathways, most likely GABA and Glutamate.
The GABA neurotransmitter system in the brain is responsible for helping you relax, while the Glutamate neurotransmitter system causes you to get energized. When anyone drinks alcohol, it stimulates the GABA system in your brain and you become sedated and relax. At the same time the Glutamate system is suppressed. When the alcohol wears off, your excitatory system “rebounds” and you feel more irritable, agitated, and may find it difficult to sleep. Because alcohol addiction results in the development of alcohol tolerance, modifying the GABA/Glutamate systems, more alcohol must be consumed to achieve the desired results. Then when the alcohol wears off, the Glutamate system has become somewhat “turbocharged” resulting in quite severe addiction withdrawal symptoms in many cases. Alcohol anti-addiction medicine is required to reconstruct a state of balance within the systems of the brain.
Many patients go through medical or alcohol detox to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Even after a few days of alcohol withdrawal the GABA/Glutamate systems are in a state of imbalance. Taking Campral on a daily basis seems to restore the normal balance of the GABA/Glutamate interaction. Consequently, alcohol addiction patients on Campral report that after the first 4-6 weeks of being on it, they begin to feel calmer, are able to handle stress and concentrate more effectively, as well as having decreased alcohol cravings.
Because these significant improvements take at least a month to begin to appear, some patients have a tendency to stop the anti-addiction medication prematurely. Also, when the positive effects appear, they usually develop slowly over 2-4 weeks and so there is no overt, pronounced effect. Those suffering from alcohol addiction can expect the effects to be significantly more noticeable 4-6 weeks after starting Campral.
Campral (Acamprosate) – Dosage & Effects when using the Alcohol Anti-Addiction Medicine
Campral is an alcohol anti-addiction medicine that is not well absorbed by your gastro-intestinal tract. In fact, only 10% of each pill is absorbed. So, in order to get the 200mg/day of Campral into your blood stream that you need to begin to heal your GABA/Glutamate systems, you need to take six tablets per day (1998 mg) in order for the medication to work. Alcohol addiction patients usually take 2 Campral tablets, three times a day,for the first two weeks and then change to 3 tablets, twice a day.
Fortunately, the side effects of Campral, like Vivitrol, are minimal. The most common side effect is diarrhea, although quite infrequent, especially after the first 1-3 days of taking Campral. If diarrhea does occur, over-the-counter medications, such as Imodium, are very effective. Other even less common side effects are nausea, itching, and intestinal gas. Also, Campral, like Vivitrol, does not interact with other anti-addiction medicines, so it can be added to just about any current medication regimen without concern.
Most patients stay on Campral for at least a year and then, depending on their alcohol addiction recovery progress, they and their physician may consider discontinuing alcohol anti-addiction medicines. Fourteen out of sixteen controlled clinical trials in European countries have demonstrated evidence for its effectiveness, showing that acamprosate-treated patients have a significantly greater rate of alcohol addiction treatment completion, time to first drink, and abstinence rates than alcohol addiction patients treated with placebo.
Enterhealth’s medically driven alcohol addiction treatment and drug rehabilitation treatment offers personalized residential and outpatient programs in Texas, uniquely suited to where you are in your recovery journey.
Call Enterhealth 24/7 at 800.388.4601 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Don’t just get clean/sober. Get well.