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Three medications are approved by the FDA to treat alcoholism.
Acamprosate is one of the most prescribed medications for treating alcoholism in the United States.
What is Acamprosate?
How can Acamprosate for alcohol dependence help with your recovery?
How Does Acamprosate Work?
Other treatments for alcoholism result in side effects that deter alcohol use, or they reduce the way that alcohol feels when it is consumed.
Alcoholics may no longer feel the pleasurable impacts that come from consuming alcohol. Acamprosate works in an entirely different manner from other medications to treat alcoholism.
The medication results in a reduction of the dependence that the brain has on alcohol. The use of alcohol alters the chemistry of the brain. The longer that the abuse lasts, the more severe the impact on the brain.
When alcohol is denied from the body, the brain will no longer function as it did prior to the start of the abuse effectively.
This can result in cravings as the body starts to withdraw from the alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal can cause significant discomfort for the alcoholic in detox.
It can even be potentially life-threatening for some alcoholics. Acamprosate works by reacting with the brain’s neurotransmitter systems. The drug is thought to work by modulating and normalizing the brain activity that has been thrown off-kilter due to alcohol cessation.
The medication also provides additional benefits. These benefits include the reduction of restlessness, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. The liver breaks down other medications to treat alcoholism.
This is troublesome for alcoholics who have liver issues as a result of their alcoholism. The body’s digestive tract processes Acamprosate.
This is a huge health benefit for those who do have liver concerns.
The Correct Usage of Acamprosate
When it comes to Acamprosate and alcohol dependency, the medication should only be taken once the patient has gone through detox. This is a prescription medication. It should only be taken while under observation by a doctor. The medication’s effectiveness can mean that some individuals struggling with alcoholism may seek out Acamprosate for a cheaper price, perhaps without a prescription in order to self-medicate.
Self-medication is never the answer – even if it is done while trying to break free from alcoholism. Professional supervision is the better route for taking Acamprosate to treat alcoholism.
Acamprosate on its own will not effectively combat alcoholism. Therapeutic solutions and other medications may be needed. This is particularly the case if there are issues with depression and other mental health concerns. The medication can increase the risks of depression and suicidal ideation. Those who’ve previously struggled with these issues can potentially see a sharp rise in these mental health concerns.
How is Acamprosate Prescribed?
The medication should be taken three times a day, in pill form. Many who do use it prefer to take it when they have a meal. While the medication can be taken with or without food, it is easier to remember to take during mealtimes.
Acamprosate can be prescribed for a few months. It is typically prescribed for up to a year, however.
The needs of the individual can vary. Treatment will be offered based upon the recovery needs of the individual.
The Potential Side Effects of Acamprosate
One of the significant benefits of Acamprosate is that the majority of side effects are mild. They will subside as the treatment continues. This relative lack of side effects is one of the reasons that makes this medication a preferred choice over alternatives. This is particularly the case as it relates to the impact on the liver.
There are several side effects to be aware of, including:
- Upset stomach, such as nausea and vomiting
- Insomnia and difficulty focusing
- Muscle weakness
- Increased depression, nervousness, and anxiety
- Headaches, dizziness, and fainting
- Changes in vision and hearing
- Suicidal thoughts
- Renal damage and reduced urination
These side effects are what make physician supervision so essential.
The Benefits of Using Acamprosate for Alcohol Dependence
There are several key benefits of incorporating Acamprosate into a comprehensive treatment program. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we have a firm focus on the health and safety of each patient.
The liver does not absorb the medication. It is absorbed through the body’s digestive tract. This improves the effectiveness of the medication. It drastically reduces the potential for side effects for those in recovery who have liver damage from long-term alcohol abuse.
There are no known concerns about interactions with other medications patients may need. This is important, as those recovering from alcoholism may benefit from antidepressants or other similar drugs.
Acamprosate actively reduces alcohol cravings. It also reduces physical alcohol dependence. The medication reacts with the neurotransmitters located in the brain.
Who Should Take Acamprosate?
Acamprosate has been demonstrated to be very effective at treating alcoholism.
Like all drugs, it is not always the right choice for everyone struggling with alcohol addiction. Before starting any regimen, be sure to provide your physician with a list of any health concerns or allergies that you have. This is particularly vital if you have ever had suicidal thoughts or have attempted suicide. Any mental health concerns should be addressed during recovery as well.
Patients who have kidney or liver diseases should not take Acamprosate. The medication can cause adverse side effects in these two organs.
Alcoholics who sober up due to pregnancy cannot take Acamprosate. This is due to the drug having the potential to cause harm to the unborn child. Women who are pregnant, have plans to become pregnant, or nursing should not take Acamprosate.
Alcoholics who have gone through detox and rehab previously, without long-term success, should consider the medication.
Acamprosate has been demonstrated to be effective at treating alcoholism. It is not enough of a solution on its own, however. Before the medication can be prescribed to patients, it’s essential that they have already gone through detox.
At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we recognize the importance of a comprehensive treatment program. Acamprosate can help those struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction better cope with their recovery. Combined with the other offered therapeutic treatments, those in recovery will be better equipped to face sobriety.
Alcohol Rehab at Resurgence
When you reach out to Resurgence Behavioral Health, you’ll find our staff to be compassionate professionals.
Our team can verify your insurance coverage and other coverage options.
Rehabilitation facilities offer a supportive environment addictions need to focus on recovery.
It is in this environment that the cause of addiction can be addressed.
The alcoholic in recovery will learn valuable coping tools.
Each of these tools can better equip you to face your sobriety and maintain your sobriety.
Addiction Treatment that
Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.