Trade Name(s)

  • Campral Canadian Trade name

Ther. Class.

alcohol abuse therapy adjuncts

Pharm. Class.

gamma aminobutyric acid gaba analogues


Maintenance of alcohol abstinence; part of a comprehensive alcohol abstinence program.


Interacts with and restores balance to CNS glutamate and GABA neurotransmitter systems.

Therapeutic Effect(s):

Continued alcohol abstinence.


Absorption: 11% absorbed following oral administration.

Distribution: Unknown.

Metabolism and Excretion: Not metabolized; excreted mainly unchanged in urine.

Half-life: 20–33 hr.

TIME/ACTION PROFILE (plasma concentrations)

POunknown3–8 hrunknown


Contraindicated in:

  • Hypersensitivity;
  • Severe renal impairment.

Use Cautiously in:

  • Moderate renal impairment (↓ dose);
  • History of depression or suicide attempt;
  • OB:  Use during pregnancy only if potential maternal benefit justifies potential fetal risk;
  • Lactation:  Use while breastfeeding only if potential maternal benefit justifies potential risk to infant;
  • Pedi:   Safety and effectiveness not established in children.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

CV: palpitations, peripheral edema, syncope, vasodilation

Derm: rash

EENT: abnormal vision, pharyngitis, rhinitis

GI: abdominal pain, anorexia, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, taste perversion, vomiting

GU: ↓ libido, erectile dysfunction

Metabolic: ↑ appetite, weight gain

MS: arthralgia, back pain, myalgia

Neuro: abnormal thinking, anxiety, depression, drowsiness, headache, tremor

Resp: cough, dyspnea

* CAPITALS indicate life-threatening.
Underline indicate most frequent.



None reported.


PO (Adults): Two 333-mg tablets (666 mg/dose) 3 times daily. Lower doses may be effective in some patients.

Renal Impairment 
PO (Adults): CCr 30–50 mL/min: One 333-mg tablet 3 times daily.

Availability (generic available)

Delayed-release tablets: 333 mg


  • Assess for signs of alcohol withdrawal at start of therapy. Acamprosate does not eliminate or diminish withdrawal symptoms.

Lab Test Considerations:

May cause anemia, lymphocytosis, thrombocytopenia, hyperglycemia, abnormal liver function tests, ↑ AST, ↑ ALT, hyperuricemia, and bilirubinemia.


  • Treatment with acamprosate should be started as soon as possible after the period of alcohol withdrawal, when the patient has achieved abstinence, and should be continued if the patient relapses.
  • PO Administer without regard to meals. May be given with meals to increase adherence.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take medication as directed, even if relapse occurs. Advise patient to discuss any renewed drinking with health care professional.
  • May cause dizziness and changes in vision. Caution patients to avoid driving and other activities requiring alertness until response to medication is known.
  • Rep:  Advise females of reproductive potential to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breastfeeding.
  • Encourage patient to continue active counseling and support. Acamprosate helps maintain abstinence only when used as part of a comprehensive psychosocial treatment program.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

Continued abstinence from alcohol.