If you are struggling with anxiety, insomnia and irritability after quitting alcohol-and you would like to drink again to relieve stress-the drug Campral (calcium acamprosate) may help restore the balance of brain neurotransmitters and relieve it Your symptoms, thereby reducing your cravings.
Campral was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States in 2004 for the treatment of alcohol dependence or alcoholism, but it has been widely used in Europe for many years. More than 1.5 million people worldwide have received Campral treatment.
Campral is for people who have stopped drinking. It does not work for people who continue to drink, nor does it help relieve withdrawal symptoms. Instead, it helps abstainers stay sober by reducing their cravings for alcohol.
Campral is not an independent treatment for alcohol addiction. Alcohol withdrawal treatment can only be provided by trained health care professionals because symptoms can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening.
Campral is believed to restore the chemical balance in the brain damaged by long-term or chronic alcohol abuse. In other words, it helps the brain to resume normal work by correcting the underlying neurochemical changes caused by long-term drinking. In this way, it can help people stay abstinent from drinking.
When a person drinks a lot or regularly, the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain changes. Specifically, drinking alcohol reduces the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, which produces a calming effect.
When alcohol-dependent people give up drinking, glutamate will increase, leading to excessive activity and excitement of the central nervous system. This may cause people to crave alcohol to calm their uncomfortable symptoms.
Campral is believed to inhibit the release of glutamate to a certain extent and activate taurine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which ultimately reduces a person’s excitement.
Although Antabuse (disulfiram) works to make people who drink alcohol sick, and naltrexone prevents people from being “high” when drinking, Campral reduces the physical pain and emotional discomfort that people usually experience when they stop drinking. Campral reduces many of the acute post-withdrawal symptoms that many people experience in the early stages of alcohol withdrawal, such as sweating, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
Campral is usually prescribed as 333 mg sustained-release tablets, which are taken 3 times a day, two tablets each time (666 mg total). Some people may do well with lower doses. Because Campral tablets are time-released, they should be swallowed whole without crushing, cutting or chewing.
Campral is contraindicated in people with severe renal impairment, but lower doses can be prescribed in less severe cases.Because Campral has few and mild side effects, and Campral is not addictive, it is usually prescribed for up to 12 months after stopping drinking.
Campral “is generally well tolerated in clinical trials,” and reported side effects are usually mild and temporary.This is an overview of side effects.
- Dry mouth
- Joint or muscle pain
- Loss of appetite
In rare cases, Campra can cause more serious side effects. Anyone experiencing any of the following symptoms should stop taking Campral immediately and contact their healthcare provider:
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Burning, tingling, or tingling in arms, legs, hands, or feet
- Chest pain
- Less urination
- Suicidal thoughts
Who should accept it
People who stop drinking can start taking Kempra. It will not work if you are still drinking alcohol, or if you are using illegal drugs or abusing or overusing prescription drugs. You should not take Campral if you have any of the following conditions:
- Kidney disease
- Suicidal thoughts
- Allergic reactions to Campral, sulfites, or other drugs
- Allergic reactions to food, dyes or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
What it doesn’t do
Campral will not help someone to quit drinking. However, it does help those who have quit drinking to stay abstinent.
Campral does not help with the withdrawal symptoms that occur during early cessation of alcohol.
However, Campral has been shown to reduce sleep disturbances that are common during early wakefulness by restoring alcoholics.
Like all other drugs approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence, Kempra is most effective as part of an overall rehabilitation plan that includes treatment, counseling, and/or support group participation.
During the FDA clinical trial, as part of the overall support program, Campral was three times more effective in maintaining abstinence than placebo. However, the recent COMBINE (Combined Drug and Alcoholism Behavior Intervention) study unexpectedly found that Campral is no more effective than placebo.
In other words, like all other treatments and methods to maintain abstinence, Campral is not suitable for everyone. This is not a panacea. But it may be a useful tool among your recovery tools.