Of the three, acamprosate for alcohol dependence is the most common. Acamprosate reduces the brain’s dependence on alcohol by normalizing brain activity that has been inhibited by long-term alcohol abuse. In particular, Campral affects neurotransmitters glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to treat withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detox and recovery. But what happens if you drink while taking Campral?
Acamprosate should only be prescribed and used after the person has stopped drinking and undergone a medically monitored detox for alcohol. Because it’s a prescription medication, it should also only be administered by a physician.
Usually, acamprosate is taken orally three times a day and can be taken during meal times to help the patient stay on track of their doses. Campral is usually only prescribed for a year, although the duration of administration may vary depending on the individual’s health and the severity of their alcohol use disorder.
Campral may also be taken in conjunction with other medications for alcoholism, such as Naltrexone or Disulfiram. Sometimes the combination of these medications increases the effectiveness of Campral, but that depends on the individual’s condition.
Because Campral should only be prescribed after a person has completely stopped drinking, it’s safe to say that no, you cannot drink on Campral. Mixing any kind of drugs with alcohol can impair their effectiveness and even exacerbate the effects of alcohol.
This means that a person who drinks on Campral may block the medication from working properly, causing them to take higher doses than recommended. Furthermore, Campral mimics the effects of alcohol by affecting glutamate and GABA, and taking both can intensify these side effects.
Although mixing acamprosate and alcohol is usually not life-threatening, it can cause some serious problems. For one, Campral is designed to treat the effects of long-term alcohol abuse on the brain. If a person drinks while taking Campral, the medication’s efficacy is impaired, preventing the person from progressing in their recovery.
Additionally, what happens if you drink on Campral also depends on any pre-existing health problems. For instance, taking any combination of medication and alcohol can have a serious impact on the liver and kidneys.
These organs are designed to rid the body of harmful toxins and waste. In addition to the impact that alcohol abuse already has on these organs, drinking while taking medication for this condition may only worsen any underlying liver or kidney problems.
Alone, acamprosate side effects include anxiety, depressed mood, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and more. However, these side effects are rarely severe and usually only last a few days as the person becomes accustomed to the medication.
When taken with alcohol, the effectiveness of Campral for the individual’s disorder is impaired. While physical symptoms aren’t clear, the most prominent effect of alcohol and Campral is a returned addiction.
All in all, some side effects of Campral and alcohol include:
Again, while this combination isn’t usually life-threatening, the potential for overdose is increased when a person drinks alcohol with acamprosate. Additionally, long-term use of alcohol and Campral together can cause serious liver and kidney damage, which is usually doctors’ main concern alongside the return of alcoholism symptoms.
If you’re taking Campral and you start drinking again, speak to your doctor right away. Don’t stop taking the medication until your doctor tells you what to do.
Although Campral may help some people, it may not be right for you. If you or a loved one needs alcohol treatment, Banyan Treatment Centers Stuart offers that and more at our facility.
We offer intensive inpatient and residential treatment to help patients in different stages of addiction recovery. During treatment, patients will have the opportunity to partake in our therapy programs to address the psychological aspect of their disorders.