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Drug Guide    A   Acamprosate

  Prescription drug information   Post your opinion about this drug  

   Acamprosate

Acamprosate
Oral


This medication is used to help alcohol-dependent patients keep from drinking alcohol. It should be used as part of a complete treatment program that includes both counseling and psychological support. Acamprosate is believed to work by restoring the natural balance of chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters).Before beginning this medication, you should no longer be drinking alcohol. Acamprosate has not been shown to be effective if you are still drinking when you start taking it.

 
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 Acamprosate images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Acamprosate

Uses
This medication is used to help alcohol-dependent patients keep from drinking alcohol. It should be used as part of a complete treatment program that includes both counseling and psychological support. Acamprosate is believed to work by restoring the natural balance of chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters).Before beginning this medication, you should no longer be drinking alcohol. Acamprosate has not been shown to be effective if you are still drinking when you start taking it.
Notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory tests (e.g., kidney function tests) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.
  • Also, keep all medical appointments and attend all of your counseling and support group meetings.

Storage
  • Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
  • Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted.
  • Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Overdose
  • Symptoms of overdose may include persistent diarrhea.

How To Use
  • Take this medication by mouth generally three times a day or as directed by your doctor.
  • Acamprosate may be taken with or without food.
  • Take this medication with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise.
  • Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking this medication.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same times each day.
  • Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.If you begin drinking alcohol again, continue taking this medication but inform your doctor.

Side Effects
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, gas, stomach pain, loss of appetite, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, fatigue, weight gain/loss, muscle/joint pain, change in sexual desire or decreased sexual ability may occur.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (including severe depression, thoughts of suicide), chest pain, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat, vision or hearing changes, increased thirst.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: change in the amount of urine, seizures, persistent stomach pain, black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs.
  • Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before taking acamprosate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions.
  • Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe kidney disease.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: other kidney disease.This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
  • Remember that drinking large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can cause long-lasting problems in your baby, such as birth defects, growth retardation, and learning disabilities.
  • This set of problems is often called fetal alcohol syndrome.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember.
  • If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it.
  • Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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