Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Depression and suicide: Although rare, people treated with acamprosate may be more likely to experience depression or commit suicide. If you have symptoms of depression (difficulty concentrating, reduced interest in activities, difficulty or increased sleeping, increased or decreased appetite, and feelings of guilt or hopelessness), contact your doctor immediately. If you have any suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself while taking this medication, seek immediate medical attention.
Impaired coordination: Although studies have not shown acamprosate to affect coordination, it is still recommended that people taking this medication be careful while driving or operating other machinery until they know how the medication affects them.
Impaired kidney function: People with moderate kidney function impairment may require lower doses of acamprosate and should be closely monitored by their doctor. People with severe kidney function impairment should not use this medication.
Treatment: Acamprosate does not eliminate or reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal (symptoms experienced by alcohol-dependent people when they suddenly stop drinking alcohol). This medication also does not prevent the harmful effects of continuous alcohol abuse. Acamprosate should be used as part of a comprehensive alcohol dependence treatment program that includes counselling and support.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if acamprosate passes into breast milk. This medication should not be used by breast-feeding women.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under 18 years of age.
Seniors: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for seniors. Seniors who take acamprosate should be closely monitored by their doctor.