Alcoholism is one of the most prevalent substance dependence disorders in the world. Advances in research in the neurobiological mechanisms underlying alcohol dependence have identified specific neurotransmitter targets for the development of pharmacological treatments. Acamprosate, marketed under the brand name Campral, is an orally administered drug available by prescription in the U.S. and throughout much of the world for treating alcohol dependence. Its safety and efficacy have been demonstrated in numerous clinical trials worldwide. Here we provide an overview of acamprosate in the context of the neurobiological underpinnings of alcohol dependence. We propose that unlike previously available pharmacotherapies, acamprosate represents a prototypical neuromodulatory approach in the treatment of alcohol dependence. A neuromodulatory approach seeks to restore the disrupted changes in neurobiology resulting from chronic alcohol intake. We believe that a neuromodulatory approach will provide a heuristic framework for developing more effective pharmacotherapies for alcohol dependence.
Keywords: Acamprosate, alcohol dependence, alcoholism, campral, treatment
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