While there is no known cure for alcoholism, several drugs have been approved by the FDA to help alleviate or deter alcohol cravings. One such drug is antabuse, sometimes prescribed at treatment centers. Antabuse has been on the market for years. This drug discourages alcoholics from drinking by causing severe physical reactions when alcohol is consumed, such as nausea and vomiting. A major problem with using antabuse for the treatment of alcoholism is that the drug doesn’t eliminate the cravings for alcohol. Alcoholics who wish to drink may simply stop taking antabuse and drink without feeling the negative effects of their consumption right away.
Naltrexone is another drug used to treat alcoholism. This drug lessens alcohol cravings and is recommended to patients coupled with therapy to prevent a return to harmful drinking.
Acamprosate, sold under the name Campral, is the newest anti-craving medication recently approved by the FDA. This drug treats alcohol dependency, but it is only effective if the alcoholic first enters an alcohol detox center to detoxify his or her body. After treatment in an alcohol detox center, the patient must not drink or use any other chemical substances. The FDA released the following press release concerning the importance of entering an alcohol detox center before starting a Campral regiment.
“While its mechanism of action is not fully understood, Campral is thought to act on the brain pathways related to alcohol abuse. Campral was demonstrated to be safe and effective by multiple placebo-controlled clinical studies involving alcohol-dependent patients who had already been withdrawn from alcohol, (i.e., detoxified).”
According to the FDA, Campral is non-addictive, effective, and it has limited side effects. The most common side effects are headache, diarrhea, flatulence, and nausea. Alcohol treatment center physicians recommend incorporating psychological therapy along with regular doses of Campral to treat the disease of alcoholism.
Although there is no cure for alcoholism, recovery is possible. Click here to learn more about treating alcoholism.