What is the efficacy of acamprosate in the treatment of alcoholism?

Updated: Nov 27, 2018
  • Author: Warren Thompson, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

The largest and longest studies on the treatment of alcohol abuse have been performed in Europe with acamprosate (Campral). At 1 year, the continuous abstinence rates were 18% in the acamprosate group and 7% in the placebo group. At 2 years, the continuous abstinence rates were 12% in the acamprosate group and 5% in the placebo group. Most patients returned to drinking while still using the drug. The drug is approved in the United States. It stimulates GABA transmission, inhibits glutamate, and decreases alcohol consumption in alcohol-dependent rats. The main adverse effect is diarrhea.


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