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Alcohol Treatment Medications

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Though the process of recovery can be attempting, there are treatment medications out there that can assist efforts to achieve sobriety.

Schedule an appointment for a thorough alcohol evaluation with our patient service assistant at 800-484-0393.

How Are Alcohol Treatment Medications Used?

Alcohol healing is an intense, uncomfortable experience that is difficult for some without help. Those who attempt to recover on their own are most likely to relapse from the pain of withdrawal and less likely to attempt again. That's why some clinics recommend alcohol treatment medications to help handle symptoms of withdrawal, yearnings, and potential relapse. Medication is not a remedy for alcohol addiction; however, several have been shown to assist in recovery when utilized as part of a general strategy involving therapy, group therapy, and social support.

Each medication serves a different function and should be utilized during various phases of recovery. Taking them at the incorrect time, inconsistently, or the incorrect dose can result in painful adverse effects.


Prescribed after alcohol has been purged from the body, Acamprosate is used to fight the desire to consume after detox.

Alcohol releases endorphins and produces positive feelings. This tempts some individuals to abuse this shortcut to joy, which ultimately builds into a dependence and dependency.

Acamprosate helps the brain redevelop typical function independent of alcohol by blocking the favorable feelings that includes drinking, decreasing the chance of regression. It will not minimize the signs of withdrawal or other drug dependencies. That is why Acamprosate needs to only be taken after the detox duration when a user is on their method to healing.

Typical side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Distressed stomach
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Weak point
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty falling or remaining asleep
  • Sweating

Acamprosate, typically prescribed under the trademark name Campral, is non-habit forming. If more unfavorable symptoms appear, then a physician must be gotten in touch with.


Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety medications typically utilized as sedatives. They can be prescribed and used throughout alcohol detox to alleviate signs of withdrawal.

Considered the "gold requirement," benzodiazepines have actually been found to be most effective in extreme cases of withdrawal. They minimize hallucinations, seizures, and delirium tremens. This is since the medication impacts the same part of the brain as alcohol, enabling the body to continue its purge, while still feeling some of the results it has actually grown to require.

Common benzodiazepines consist of Xanax, Librium, Valium, and Ativan.

The classification of benzodiazepines, or benzos as they're also understood, are highly addicting and frequently mistreated. Usage should stop right away when the most extreme symptoms of withdrawal subside, before a dependence on them can build.


The first prescription used to help deal with alcohol use conditions, Disulfiram was pioneered in 1931. When combined with alcohol, Disulfiram triggers pain. The idea being that the reaction will create a negative stimulus, and the user will be turned away from drinking after associating those two things together. These feelings include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Chest discomfort
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fast or pounding heart beat
  • Flushing or inflammation of face
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pulsating headache
  • Problem breathing
  • Weakness

Disulfiram, commonly referred to as Antabuse, isn't recommended until after the alcohol has been purged from the body. Otherwise it would make the symptoms of withdrawal worse. The impacts of Disulfiram continue up to 14 days after the last dosage, covering the time where a dosage might have been missed or a user stops taking it to attempt and feel the positive impacts of alcohol.

Disulfiram reacts to anything which contains alcohol. Even the smell of household items, like mouthwash or paint, can activate the medication.


Naltrexone, like Acamprosate, obstructs the euphoric feelings one gets from taking in alcohol. Taking this regularly after detox can stop the "high" experience of alcohol if they relapse, disassociating the feelings of positivity and alcohol. This is a typical initial step after detox to prevent relapse.

Naltrexone will not stop the "impaired" sensation that alcohol can bring. Some try to overcompensate the medication by consuming more, but this will still not release the desired results. Somebody taking Naltrexone can still bring severe harm to themselves from over drinking. Naltrexone is non-addictive and non-narcotic, but, similar to any prescription drug, there are negative effects. These can include:

  • Stomach or stomach cramping or discomfort (moderate or moderate).
  • Anxiety, uneasiness, restlessness, or problem sleeping.
  • Headache.
  • Joint or muscle discomfort.
  • Queasiness or vomiting.
  • Sleepiness.

If other, or more severe, side effects manifest, you need to reach out to a medical professional.

Though Naltrexone has actually likewise been shown to help with narcotic addiction, you must always seek out a treatment provider before medicating.

Why Search For Medicinal Options?

All of the prescriptions above have actually been checked to assist individuals recovering from an alcohol use disorder. If sobriety has actually been a battle in the past, these medications might have been the missing out on piece.

If you are looking for a center on your own or a loved one, then reach out today. Treatment companies are readily available to assist.

Find Treatment

It’s simple and easy – and you can do it. Just pick up the phone and speak to one of our counselors about your rehab treatment options. (800) 484-0393