Drug Therapy

There are now some drugs that can help alcoholics combat their problem. We’ve discussed Topamax in another section so we’ll concentrate on some of the others here. Be sure to contact your doctor about any drug you may be considering as each person is different and your doctor will know best how any drug may affect you.

Naltrexone has been around for awhile and is usually given in pill form which is taken daily. However, within the last few years a different form of Naltrexone called Vivitrol was made available. Vivitrol was designed with alcoholism in mind since Naltrexone was being used predominantly by alcoholics. Vivitrol requires only one injection per month making it much easier to use. Numerous studies have shown it’s effectiveness at reducing cravings. In fact, the National Institute of Health found in 2008 that some alcoholics with certain genetics are far more likely to be successful at limiting their alcohol consumption or even quitting drinking altogether.

Antabuse or Disulfiram is another drug which may help someone to overcome a drinking problem. However, Disulfiram works in a different way. If you have Disulfiram in your system and you drink alcohol the drug will cause you to feel as if you have a bad hangover, sometimes within 5 to 10 minutes of drinking. The hangover effect may last for some period of time. So, Disulfiram is not given to anyone who does not plan on giving up drinking because the long term hangover effects may be detrimental to their health. If you really want to give up drinking then perhaps the “negative feedback” that Disulfiram provides after drinking will be motivation enough to stop.

Acamprosate or Campral is utilized mainly among those who have already quit drinking. Campral helps balance out chemicals in the brain and helps reduce cravings for alcohol. It is usually used in conjunction with other abstinence programs. Anyone with kidney problems should not take Campral and should talk to their doctor about any of these drugs.

Again, this information is not an endorsement or recommendation of any of these drugs. You should be aware of what possibilities are out there to help you overcome your drinking problem and you should use the information to help you and your doctor make an informed decision as to which path you should take.

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