Is Campral addictive?

NO. Campral is not addictive. It is a medication used in the treatment of alcohol dependence or alcoholism. To learn what is Campral made of, its addiction liabilty, and the potenital risks of Campral use, read on here.

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Not only is Campral a non-addictive substance, it is actually a fairly safe medication and appears to have no potential for abuse. Tolerance or dependence on Campral have not been observed even in patients who were taking the medication for a longer time as a part alcohol dependence treatment.

But what is Campral used for? What is it made of and how does it work? We provide answers to these questions here. Then, we invite your questions and comments in the end.

What is Campral used for?

Campral (acamprosate) is a medication used in the treatment of alcohol-dependent individuals and/or during alcoholism recovery for those who have stopped drinking. Chronic alcoholism is a widespread problem and a significant burden on families of alcoholics and on  society. Campral is one of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs intended for alcohol addiction treatment. Patients get the best results from Campral and drastically increase their chances for sustaining long-term sobriety if the medication is used alongside counseling, psychotherapy, family support and other treatments as a part of a full recovery program.

But is acamprosate effective? Yes, it can be. Although the mechanism of action is not fully understood, scientists believe that the main ingredient in Campral – acamprosate – works by reducing the protracted withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) from alcohol, thus decreasing desire for alcohol consumption.

What is Campral made of?

Campral is a brand name for “calcium acetylaminopropane sulfonate” or acamprosate calcium, which is the main active ingredient of the medication. This synthetic compound has a chemical structure similar to that of the endogenous amino acid “homotaurine”. Campral is supplied in an enteric-coated tablet intended for oral administration only. Each tablet contain 333mg of acamprosate calcium, which is equivalent to 300mg of acamprosate.

Acamprosate is a substance approved by the FDA and is not listed as a controlled substance, mainly because it shows no potential for abuse and has no known addictive properties.

How addictive is Campral?

Campral is not addictive at all. According to the findings of scientists and medical researchers, Campral does not show any addictive properties. This medication works by modulating and normalizing brain activity in people who have used alcohol excessively and for a longer period of time. The mechanism of action is not fully understood yet, but researchers suspect Campral is particularly effective in the glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter system.

Campral for alcohol dependence treatment

Alcoholism means you are physically and/or mentally addicted to alcohol, and this includes strong cravings for alcohol. Chronic and long-term alcohol consumption is unhealthy and dangerous, but just like many other addictions, it can be treated. Alcohol dependence treatment depends on the severity of the problem and may require medical assistance.

Campral does not have an effect on alcohol withdrawal symptoms that occur during detox. It is rather intended for treatment in the post-withdrawal period. After detox, the struggle is to stay sober and Campral can stop the strong cravings for alcohol, thus increasing chances of sobriety. How long does Campral stay in the system?  The terminal half-life of a regular dose of the acamprosate found in Campral ranges anywhere from 20-30 hours. Additionally, acamprosate reaches steady levels within 5 days of regular dosing, and regular dosing is encouraged to maintain effective levels of Campral in the body over time.

Campral use in alcohol recovery

Campral promises best results when used along with addiction therapy, group counseling and support programs. Campral can successfully lower the desire for drinking, but alcoholism is a condition that has many underlying issues. A full recovery means working on improving all areas of life, dealing with issues that are the root cause for drinking, and addressing the important aspects of life that act as trigger for alcohol consumption.

Is Campral addictive questions

Did we manage to cover everything you wanted to know about Campral treatment for alcohol dependence? If not, we invite your thoughts and questions in the comments section below. We try to provide personal and prompt response to all legitimate inquiries.

Reference Sources: PBM Veterans Affairs: Acamprosate (Campral)
NIH: Pubchem: Acamprosate
SAMHSA:  Acamprosate: A New Medication For Alcohol Use Disorders
Livertox: Acamprosate
FDA: CAMPRAL (acamprosate calcium) tablets label
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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