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Acamprosate Side Effects

The side effects of Acamprosate includes diarrhea, upset stomach, gas, loss of taste, loss of appetite, dizziness, dry mouth, anxiety, nausea and general weakness.

List of common miner side effects of Acamprosate

  1. Nausea
  2. Gas
  3. Stomach upset
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Sleeplessness
  6. Sweating
  7. Weakness
  8. Anxiety
  9. Dry mouth
  10. Gas
  11. Diarrhea or loose stool

Major Side effects of Acamprosate

The major and serious sides are uncommon. The major side effects of Acamprosate are as follows:

  1. Skin rashes
  2. Burning sensation in the body
  3. Tingling sensation
  4. Numbness in feet, legs, hands or arms

Side effects of Acamprosate in Details

The side effects of acamprosate are as follows:

Gastro intestinal system

Gastro intestinal effects are commonly observed with use of acamprosate.  These side effects include anorexia, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, dry mouth, vomiting, dyspepsia, constipation, taste perversion, abdominal pain, and rarely increased appetite.  Gastro intestinal hemorrhage, rectal hemorrhage, eructation, hematemesis, gastritis, pancreatitis are also observed with the use of acamprosate.  The side effects rarely observed are melena, colitis, increased salivation, enlarged abdomen, and duodenal ulcer and mouth ulcers.  Diarrhea is a common side effect leading to noncompliance with the medication.  The gastro intestinal side effects are due to low oral bioavailability of acamprosate.  Encourage the patient to drink plenty of liquids to replace the lost fluids due to diarrhea and advice patient to consume simple meals avoiding rich and spicy foods.  Most of the gastro intestinal side effects disappear in a few weeks’ time.

Nervous system

The side effects to nervous system include dizziness, paresthesias, somnolence, decreased libido, anxiety, nervousness, vertigo, apathy, withdrawal syndromes, hallucinations, tremor, neuralgia, convulsions, and migraine.  Patients must be advised to refrain from engaging in activities like driving and operating heavy machinery.

Psychiatric effects

Psychiatric side effects include suicidal ideation, hostility, depression, agitation, abnormal dreams, hallucinations, psychosis, paranoid reaction, and manias.  Patients treated with acamprosate must be monitored for symptoms of negative emotions and suicidal thinking.  Family and caregivers of these patients must be alerted to the possible psychiatric symptoms.

Renal system effects

Acute renal failure was observed in patients using acamprosate but further researches are needed to find causal relationship between the two.  It is believed that acamprosate causes renal failure because it is excreted unchanged by the kidneys; hence it is not advisable for elderly people and patients with existing renal dysfunction.

Hematologic system effects

Lymphocytosis, ecchymosis, eosinophilia, anemia, leukopenia, monocytosis are reported with the use of acamprosate.

Cardiovascular system effects

Hypertension, palpitations, vasodilation, syncope, hypertension, hypotension, varicose veins, tachycardia, phlebitis, postural hypotension, angina pectoris, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, deep vein thrombophlebitis are observed with the use of acamprosate.

Respiratory system effects

Asthma, epistaxis, rhinitis, increased cough, dyspnea, pharyngitis, and bronchitis are associated with the use of acamprosate.

Metabolic effects

Peripheral edema and weight gain are frequently observed in patients using acamprosate.  hyperuricemia, gout, diabetes mellitus, avitaminosis, bilirubinemia, excessive thirst are also found in patients treated with acamprosate.  Acamprosate overdose causes hypercalcemia.

Genito urinary system effects

Impotence has been observed frequently with use of acamprosate.  Renal calculus, hematuria, menorrhagia, urinary incontinence, vaginitis, sexual function abnormality, urinary tract infection, abnormal ejaculation, polyuria, nocturia are also reported.

Integumentary system effects

Side effects to the integumentary system include pruritus, sweating, dry skin, urticaria, exfoliative dermatitis, vesiculobulbous rash, and eczema.  Erythema multiforme are also observed with the use of acamprosate.

Ocular effects

Abnormal vision changes are frequently associated with the use of acamprosate. The other side effects are photophobia and ophthalmitis.

Hypersensitivity Reaction

Allergic reactions have been observed but are infrequent.

Immune system

Flu like symptoms including rhinitis chills and infection have been observed in patients receiving acamprosate.

Hepatic effects

Increased SGOT, increased SGPT, abnormal liver enzymes, liver cirrhosis, and hepatitis are reported with the use of acamprosate.  Acamprosate is not metabolized by liver, hence can be used in patients with existing liver disease with caution and monitoring of liver function tests.

Musculoskeletal system effects

Musculo skeletal side effects include myalgia, arthralgia, leg cramps, and myopathies.

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