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Why is this medication prescribed?
In order to help persons who have quit using high amounts of alcohol (alcoholism) refrain from doing so in the future, acamprosate is taken alongside counselling and social support. Long-term alcohol consumption alters how the brain functions. Acamprosate functions by restoring normal brain function to those who have consumed high amounts of alcohol. The withdrawal symptoms that some people may go through when they stop consuming alcohol are not mitigated by acamprosate. Acamprosate has not been proven to be effective in individuals who have not ceased consuming alcohol, in addition to those who consume excessive amounts of other narcotics, prescription prescriptions, or alcohol.
How should this medicine be used?
Acamprosate is available as an oral delayed-release tablet that delivers the drug in the intestine. Three times a day, it is typically taken with or without food. Acamprosate should be taken at roughly the same time each day to help you remember to take it. You might find it easier to remember all three doses if you take acamprosate with your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Acamprosate should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Do not chew, break, or crush the tablets; instead, swallow them whole.
Only while you are taking acamprosate will it assist you avoid consuming alcohol. Even if you don’t believe you will start drinking again, keep taking acamprosate. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking acamprosate.
If you consume alcohol while taking acamprosate, keep taking the medication and contact your physician. If you consume alcohol while receiving acamprosate treatment, you won’t have any adverse side effects.
Other uses for this medicine
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking acamprosate,
- If you have an allergy to sulfites, acamprosate, any other drugs, or any of the ingredients in acamprosate tablets, let your doctor and pharmacist know right once. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
- Inform your physician and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Mention antidepressants, also known as “mood lifters.” Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
- Inform your doctor if you use or have ever used street drugs, abused prescription medications, have ever considered injuring or dying yourself, have ever tried to do so, or any of the aforementioned. Additionally, let your doctor know whether you currently or ever had kidney illness or depression.
- Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking acamprosate.
- Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking acamprosate if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
- You should be aware that acamprosate may impair your coordination, reasoning, and decision-making abilities. Prior to understanding how this drug affects you, avoid using machinery or driving a car.
- You should be aware that individuals who consume high amounts of alcohol frequently experience depression and occasionally attempt self-harm or suicide. Acamprosate use does not reduce risk of self-harm attempts and may even increase them. Even if you don’t start drinking again while on acamprosate, depression still has a chance to set in. If you or a member of your family notices signs of depression, such as sorrow, anxiety, hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness, or a lack of interest or pleasure in once-enjoyed activities, you should seek medical attention immediately once. Energy issues, problems focusing, making decisions, or remembering things, impatience, sleep issues, changes in food or weight, restlessness, or thoughts of injuring or killing yourself, as well as preparations for or attempts to do so. Make sure your family is aware of any potentially critical symptoms so they can contact the doctor immediately if you are unable to get help on your own.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects from acamprosate are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Abdomen upset
- Reduced appetite
- Mouth ache
- Having trouble falling or staying asleep
Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Even though the following signs are not common, call your doctor right away if you see any of them or any of the warning signs listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section:
- Hands, feet, arms, or legs that are burning, tingling, or numb
Other negative effects of acamprosate are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
Overdose symptoms could include:
Acamprosate overdose symptoms could appear if you use it frequently and in excess. If you notice any of these signs, contact your doctor right away:
- Reduced appetite
- Uneasy stomach
- Severe thirst
- Muscle tremor
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your scheduled appointments with your doctor, therapist, and support group.
No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.