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Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2010 Jan;9(1):177-88. doi: 10.1517/14740330903512943.

The neurobiology, clinical efficacy and safety of acamprosate in the treatment of alcohol dependence.

Author information

1
Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, TPC-5, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. mason@scripps.edu

Abstract

IMPORTANCE TO THE FIELD:

Acamprosate, marketed under the brand name Campral, (Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Saint Louis, MO, USA; Merck Sante s.a.s., Lyon, France) is an orally administered drug approved in the US and throughout much of the world for treating alcohol dependence. Its safety and efficacy have been demonstrated in a number of clinical trials worldwide and as with all pharmacotherapies for alcoholism, it is used in conjunction with psychosocial interventions.

AREAS COVERED IN THIS REVIEW:

This article reviews the mechanism of action, clinical efficacy and safety of acamprosate in Phase I, II and III randomized controlled trials involving healthy and alcohol-dependent populations using published reports from 1984 to 2009.

WHAT THE READER WILL GAIN:

This review provides an update of the mechanism of action and the safety and efficacy profile of acamprosate.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:

Acamprosate appears to act centrally to restore the normal activity of glutamatergic neurotransmission altered by chronic alcohol exposure. Acamprosate's excellent safety profile along with several pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics make it well suited for treating a broad population of alcohol-dependent patients.

PMID:
20021295
DOI:
10.1517/14740330903512943
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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