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Substance Abuse and Addiction - Medications

Medicines can be used to help treat alcohol abuse and dependence. Some medicines reduce withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Other medicines help you stay sober during the long process of recovery.

Medicines for withdrawal

Medicines most often used to treat withdrawal symptoms during detoxification include:

Medicines for recovery

Medicines used to help you stay sober during recovery include:

  • Disulfiram (Antabuse), which makes you sick to your stomach when you drink.
  • Naltrexone (ReVia, Vivitrol), which interferes with the pleasure you get from drinking.
  • Acamprosate (Campral), which may reduce your craving for alcohol.
  • Topiramate (Topamax), which may help treat alcohol problems.

Vitamins and supplements

Alcohol abuse can cause your body to become low in certain vitamins and minerals, especially thiamine (vitamin B1). You might need to take thiamine supplements to improve your nutrition during recovery. Thiamine helps prevent Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which causes brain damage.

You also might need supplements to help replace fluids and electrolytes.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: 6/, 014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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