Campral (acamprosate) stopped me drink... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Campral (acamprosate) stopped me drinking :)

Kev12564 profile image
15 Replies

Hello all, bit over the top with my title, but this drug is certainly working for me,

I used to drink 70+ units a week. I then cut right down but then crept up to around 40 units a week. I had regular breaks of a week or two before starting to drink again. My main concern was the constant urge to drink in the evening even after my 5 or 6 daily units. Luckily I had the willpower to always stop at 5 or 6 units, but the strong urge was worrying and unpleasant.

I asked my GP about Antabuse which is a nasty drug that makes you feel extremely sick if you drink, but it does nothing to control urges. Next after counselling (not much help to be blunt as I’d already come to terms with the fact I’d never be a moderate or occassional drinker and had to totally quit), I was prescribed Campral.

The urge was still strong in the first week, but I held out and gradually the urge to drink weakened. OK, I’m only on day 16, but for the last few days I haven’t even wanted alcohol. Campral really is helping.

I know everyone is different. I had already cut back on drinking and had stopped in the past. I believe Campral is less effective for current heavy drinkers. However, there is help available out there, and I found my GP very supportive.

15 Replies
FuzzyWasShe profile image

Congratulations, CocoNutWater! That's awesome news. ☺️

Kev12564 profile image
Kev12564 in reply to FuzzyWasShe

Thanks FuzzyWasShe, I really really believed I could be an occasional drinker or just have one drink a day. However, I’d been drinking between 40 and 70 units a week for twenty years, and no one can ever be a social/normal drinker after that many years of heavy drinking. That fact is a lot to come to terms with, but for the likes of me it’s a choice between heavy drinking or none at all.

Good on yer coco keep it up. Same for me - all or nowt. I made the decision too late but in end have been a lucky mucker.

Oh by the way your name makes me lust for it, my favourite drink yes believe it or not I got to love the carton version almost, but not quite ( no that’s a fib - it’s nothing like the real thing but nevertheless 😁) but now I’m not allowed coconutty things. Don’t know why, can’t even remember which issuete it’s because of! 😁

Anyway good luck coconut. We’re all with you I’m sure.



Kev12564 profile image
Kev12564 in reply to

Never too late (cliché alert) and well done too for that all or nothing tough decision.

The name CocoNutWater comes from what I now drink as an alcohol substitute. OK, it’s the carton variety and not plucked off a tree, but I have to drink something other than water and coconut water does the trick.

in reply to Kev12564

Well that’s good and you can tell I’m jealous - not of your unfortunate position obviously- but of being allowed to drink the nectar (of youth 😁)

Kev12564 profile image
Kev12564 in reply to

Too bad you can’t partake. I guess coconut water has a lot of sugar which doesn’t overly concern me as I don’t drink gallons of the stuff.

I certainly don’t feel unfortunate and am all the better for being booze free. It’s one of a few lifestyle changes. It felt so odd and pointless going to the gym and then having 5 units of red wine.

I’m waffling now. My friends are sick of the new slimline alcohol free me, but I don’t care 😛

in reply to Kev12564

That’s the way - you get to find out your true friends don’t you!

Garyvh profile image
Garyvh in reply to

'issuete' I hope that's not just a typo, it's hilarious! 😂

in reply to Garyvh

Did I spell it wrong?

in reply to Garyvh

Thats Milo speak. I always love his play on words. Hes got a slang dialect of his own. 🙂 Vimto= Wine. Is my favorite one. I use it all the time o er here now.

Garyvh profile image

What is Campral please, how does it work, what does it do?

Kev12564 profile image
Kev12564 in reply to Garyvh

It’s a prescription drug that’s been around since the mid 2000s. It reduces the cravings for alcohol. Years of heavy drinking will cause your brain to send signals to your body that you need alcohol, and that’s when you get the urges and cravings to drink. Campral inhibits the signals and reduces the cravings.

The normal dosage is two tablets three times a day. There may be minor side effects, but as far as I have read these are minimal. As I say, it’s working well for me 18 days in.

My GP was not allowed to prescribe any drugs related to alcohol dependence and referred to me a rehabilitation group with councillors and nurses as opposed to AA-type meetings. I had to see a councillor which wasn’t so helpful in my case before I saw a nurse who then prescribed Campral. It was quite straightforward, hassle free and well worth it.

Whilst 40 units a week is dangerously high, I can’t help thinking it’s not much compared to many people in the U.K. However, as I said above, my urges were still strong even after I’d had my daily quota and that was my main worry.

Campral isn’t a miracle cure. I’m sure if I lost willpower and drunk tonight, the effect of the Campral would lessen. But I’ve had to go to counselling, etc, and pay the £8.80 prescription charge for the tablets. It’s daft to do all that and drink.

The message from the waffle above is if anyone thinks they drink too much, see your GP. There’ll be no tut tutting.

Warrior1 profile image

Fantastic 😊 and hope you’re well on the way to a new healthier,happier, more peaceful life without alcohol. In time, the urges diminish more and more and personally, 2 years 3 months in, I don’t have any now. I do have a new life, outlook, life coping mechanism in the 12 steps recovery programme, for a life without alcohol. Baclofen is highly rated also for cravings/urges in the first few months of sobriety for anyone starting on the journey. I was prescribed that in the early months. 🙂

Kev12564 profile image
Kev12564 in reply to Warrior1

Thanks Warrior, after all that I only took Campral for about 5 weeks. I could have taken a box of sweets for all I knew. It was the realisation I had a problem and had done something about it that did the trick.

You’re right, the urges come and go but less often. I’m now 100 days off the booze and feel like superman.

Sounds like you’ve won a hard fought battle so huge well done to you too

Warrior1 profile image
Warrior1 in reply to Kev12564

We’re all here to support and motivate each other. I’m in remission for cancer which has left me in a fair bit of pain post treatment from years ago on/off, but no matter what happens in our lives, I think we’d only realize fairly soon, that we’d left relative heaven if we were to take that first drink. Best of luck ! One day...😎🙏

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