There are three approved medications for the treatment of AUD in Canada and the U.S.:

  1. Naltrexone (oral medication: Revia® and injectable: Vivitrol®) 
    Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors in the brain, reducing pleasure associated with drinking and can reduce craving.  Vivitrol, the 30-day injectable version, is available only in the U.S.
  2. Acamprosate (Campral®)
    Acamprosate is thought to ease the uncomfortable side effects of coming off alcohol by dampening glutamate activity in the brain.
  3. Disulfiram (Antabuse®)
    The drug increases concentration of acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product that occurs when alcohol is broken down in the body. Excess amounts of this by-product cause unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea and flushing of the skin.

Medication that has been shown to reduce cravings for alcohol, currently under study:

  • Topirmate: An anticonvulsant.
  • Baclofen:  Baclofen's anti-anxiety properties show promise for AUD.
  • Gabapentin:  An anticonvulsant drug under study for use in treating AUD

Visit the CAMH page which offers families a list of resources and online tools


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