Is Campral Effective?
Last Updated Dec 2, 2021
Campral can be an effective treatment for alcohol dependence, but this medication should be used in conjunction with proven methods of treatment for alcohol use disorder.
An article published in American Family Physician cited the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual world health report, stating that alcohol was in some way responsible for 3 percent of global deaths. Alcohol misuse contributes heavily to the risk of developing various diseases and injuries.
Twenty years later, WHO released a report that now asserts alcohol is responsible for 5.1 percent of diseases and injuries around the globe. As alcohol continues to be a pervasive problem affecting humanity in multiple ways, effective treatment for alcohol use disorder is constantly evolving.
Medications such as Campral are utilized in conjunction with effective alcohol abuse treatment programs to help people stop alcohol misuse and get better.
What Is Campral?
Campral (acamprosate) is a medication used for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.
The three primary medications currently used for alcohol dependency treatment include acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone.
Acamprosate has been approved for the treatment of alcohol dependency by the FDA since 2004.
How to Use Campral
Campral is administered in tablet form with a recommended dose of two 333 mg tablets, which are to be taken three times a day. It is a synthetic compound that affects neurotransmitters, restoring natural balance and order in the brain.
Campral is meant to be taken once an individual has successfully undergone alcohol detox and is ready to commit to abstaining from alcohol use.
Campral & Drug Dependency
There is no conclusive evidence showing or suggesting that Campral is an effective treatment for any type of substance abuse other than alcohol. In fact, Campral has been shown to decrease in efficacy among individuals who abuse drugs in addition to alcohol.
Taking Campral & Drinking Alcohol
While medications like naltrexone will render a person very sick if taken while drinking alcohol, this is generally not the case when it comes to Campral.
The main side effect that occurs from drinking alcohol while taking Campral is that any improvement in brain activity that was achieved during abstinence from alcohol is then compromised.
Taking Campral while drinking alcohol also has the potential to cause liver and kidney damage.
Campral may interact with other drugs or dietary supplements. Those who take prescription medications or dietary supplements in addition to Campral should consult with a medical professional to avoid complications.
Who Should Use Campral & Why?
Campral is a medication specifically designed for the treatment of alcohol dependency. This medication’s primary purpose is to restore chemical balance in the brain that has been compromised by alcohol abuse. Therefore, Campral is recommended for individuals who are trying to quit and remain abstinent from alcohol as a means of relapse prevention.
Individuals who still engage in alcohol consumption or believe they will more than likely return to consuming alcohol should not take Campral or any other medication related to curbing alcohol use.
Side Effects Associated With Campral
Serious side effects that are associated with Campral are related to allergic reactions. If you’re taking Campral and experience rashes, hives, swelling of the face (especially the lips, mouth, and tongue), or difficulty breathing, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction. In such scenarios, it is crucial to get emergency medical attention.
Common and less severe side effects associated with Campral include the following:
- Mild anxiety or depression
- Tingling sensations
- Compromised sleep
If you experience severe diarrhea, anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation, it’s important to contact a medical professional immediately. Kidney problems (such as swelling, urinating less, and intense fatigue) should also be reported to a doctor immediately.
Treatment alternatives to Campral depend on the individual in question as well as what they are trying to accomplish over the course of their journey into sobriety.
Other medications that can be used to treat alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency include disulfiram and naltrexone in either the fast-acting form (ReVia) or the extended-release form (Vivitrol).
Disulfiram works by blocking alcohol metabolism, which results in exacerbated undesirable symptoms associated with being drunk. Due to the experience of adverse events associated with drunkenness, disulfiram can be an extremely effective alternative to Campral.
Naltrexone is classified as an opioid antagonist, and it is considered effective in reducing alcohol cravings and preventing relapse.
Naltrexone is a more flexible treatment option in that it can be taken as a form of maintenance medication whenever alcohol cravings arise.
For individuals who would like to avoid taking prescribed medication, there are certain health and wellness practices that have been shown to be beneficial in helping individuals abstain from alcohol consumption.
Therapy and counseling have both been shown to be effective in treating alcohol use disorder. Talking with a therapist or a drug and/or alcohol abuse counselor will help an individual get to the root of their problems with substances.
Communicating and interacting with an impartial third party with experience with addiction and addictive personalities will often help those struggling with alcohol use disorder. Continued treatment has also been shown to reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Healthy lifestyle choices are additional measures you can take to improve your chances of maintaining sobriety. Eating clean, whole foods can help to reset your body’s internal processes.
Once you have detoxed from alcohol, your body may start to respond differently if you were to consume alcohol again, making its effects more intense. Often, experiencing worsened effects from drinking and understanding what alcohol does to your body and brain can prove to be effective deterrents to relapses.
Yoga and meditation can serve as supportive measures in recovery. They’re often included as adjunctive therapies in treatment for alcohol use disorder.
Campral and other prescription medications for alcohol dependency should only be utilized when combined with proven alcohol treatment methods, such as therapy and traditional rehabilitation. Taking Campral or any other alcohol dependence medication alone is not an effective treatment for substance use disorders.
Effectiveness of Acamprosate in the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence. (March 2011). American Family Physician.
Alcohol. (May 2022). World Health Organization.
Treatment Alternatives for the Addicted Patient. (April 2019). Practical Pain Management.
Acamprosate Better Than Baclofen for Alcohol Use Disorder in Cirrhosis: Fact or Myth? (June 2022). European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
Acamprosate: A Prototypic Neuromodulator in the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence. (March 2011). CNS & Neurological Disorders.
Safety and Efficacy of Acamprosate for the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence. (January 2013). Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment.