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Campral Vs. Naltrexone

If you have been suffering from alcohol addiction, Campral and naltrexone are two medications that may be suitable treatment options.

Both of these medications can help you to overcome alcohol addiction by decreasing the pleasure derived from drinking, and by reducing the withdrawal symptoms that surface when you stop the cycle of abuse.

The ideal outcome of treating alcoholism with either medication is the same – you stop drinking. However, each of these medications does work in a very different way.

How Each Alcohol Treatment Medication Works

  • Campral: This medication combats the effects of alcohol on brain chemistry; these alcohol’s effects result in symptoms like insomnia and irritability when alcohol use is discontinued. Specifically, Campral stimulates the GABA receptors in the brain, and subdues the NMDA receptors, therefore reducing some limited effects of alcohol withdrawal since the brain is more quickly restored to a stable state. Campral does not address typical withdrawal symptoms or those involved in early detox.
  • Naltrexone: This medication helps prevent feelings of intoxication. As the pleasure in drinking is reduced through its use, the cycle of alcoholism begins to decrease in its intensity. When there is no longer a feeling of euphoria that comes from drinking, most people will feel less inclined to continue drinking. Naltrexone accomplishes this by blocking the opiate receptors in the brain, which are responsible for pleasurable feelings.

Benefits of Campral

Campral has been on the market since the FDA approved it in 2004. Prior to approval, there were three double-blind clinical trials conducted to determine the benefits of Campral in individuals who had been suffering from long-term alcohol abuse. The individuals treated with Campral had already undergone a detox program.

The studies proved that individuals taking Campral had a much better chance at long-term recovery than the individuals who were given the placebo. However, it is best suited to treat alcoholism alone, as further studies have proven that Campral is not as effective in treating individuals with histories of abusing multiple substances consecutively.

Campral Side Effects

As with any medication, some patients can experience side effects when taking Campral. These are fairly minimal and include:

  • Stomach discomfort
  • Digestive issues
  • Pruritus
  • Gas
  • Cotton mouth
  • Body aches

Benefits of Naltrexone

Naltrexone has proven highly effective when used to treat individuals with multiple addictions. It is chiefly used to treat addictions to opioid drugs and alcohol.

FDA clinical trials determined that using naltrexone means patients have fewer cravings, fewer drinking days, and relapse rates that are 50 percent lower than those who were treated with the placebo.

Naltrexone Side Effects

The side effects of Naltrexone can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Angst
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion

Choosing Campral or Naltrexone

Both Campral and naltrexone are suitable options if alcohol is your substance of choice. If you have been using opioid drugs, you may have more success with naltrexone. However, people with specific medical histories may not be eligible to use either medication. When you enter rehab, your addiction history will be taken into consideration so your most effective course of treatment can be determined.

Medication alone will usually not lead to the best long-term recovery result, as the root causes behind the addictive behavior must be addressed for effective recovery.

Behavioral and alternative treatments are often needed to effectively treat alcoholism or drug addiction. If you’d like assistance finding a program that can help – one that incorporates the use of Campral, naltrexone or other medications into their treatment process – contact us today.