Acamprosate Precribing

Tosh Owen 16/11/12 General Questions & Answers

Although our service are aware of the rationale behind prescribing for acamprosate, ie reduce cravings, it would be interesting to hear how other services explain this to their patients.
Part of the reason for this post is I have heard from patients they have been informed:
i. not to take if drinking,
ii. to take when they are drinking, that the drug will help a person reduce their alcohol intake
Following from this is an interest in when services decide to initiate prescribing. When they've stopped drinking, when they complain of cravings, etc.
We have a number of NMP's within our service and wish to be clear as to the benefits of acamprosate prescribing. Other experience will be of help.

Post a reply

Natasha Diaz 10/01/13

Hello Tosh

I frequently advocate the use of Acamprosate for patients who want to drink less or for those who plan to completely abstain and would benefit from it as a relapse prevention measure.
Local GPs do no always agree with my rationale however and I have been informed by some patients that they were refused it on repeat prescription. This is quite rare however and there are measures in place to try and persuade GPs to communicate their concrens before refusing to re-prescribe it.

I have attached the patient information leaflet on Acamprosate that I created for use within my general hospital and I hope it may be of some help.

Kind Regards

Natasha Diaz
Alcohol Liaison Nurse

Room 33, 3rd Floor

Thorpe House

Kettering General Hospital

Rothwell Road



NN16 8UZ

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Tosh Owen 15/02/13

Hi Tash
many thanks for the info. from my own understanding the drug could be used to reduce craving in those who wish to remain abstinent as well as reducing alcohol intake in those who may binge.
i'll show this to my colleagues, our NMP's are looking at best practice around this.
again thanks

Gill Sims 18/02/13


Does anyone have any research into the benefits of providing Acamprosate to binge drinkers as I'm struggling to get it prescribed for this client group.



Gill Sims

A&E Alcohol Liaison Worker

Taunton Deane & West Somerset

Integrated Drug & Alcohol Service

Turning Point Somerset

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Tosh Owen 30/04/13

Hi Gill
Sorry taken so long to respond. Unfortunately this is the problem i think we all have that is the actual evidence for people who are not abstinent. I think many in the field can give anecdotal evidence as to the benefit from acamprosate.
I've not done a lit search recently on this, but probably should do.
thanks for asking, keeps some attention on the theory of who acamprosate can help.

Carolyn Musgrave 01/01/14

in our service we start acamprosate approx 10 days before starting a community assisted withdrawal and in hospital as soon as the LFT's and U+E's allow.See our guidelines attached

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Old forum user 22/10/15

Dear Carolyn

As previous nurses have said ''Acamprosate I thought is licenced for people who have achieved abstinence as is Naltrexone'' Naltrexone has shown in our alcohol service to be most effective but again needs to be for a person who has achieved abstinence. You can view its benefits and side effects and doseage in the Nice Guidelines.


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