The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a new drug that aims to keep alcoholics from drinking again after they have quit.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a new drug that aims to keep alcoholics from drinking again after they have quit.The drug, called Campral, may not work for people who are actively drinking when they start taking the pill or who are abusing other substances, the FDA said in a statement. Lipha Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of German drugmaker Merck KGaA, makes the drug, generically known as acamprosate.It was not clear how the drug worked, health officials said, but studies showed more patients who took the drug stayed away from drinking compared to those who took a placebo.”While its mechanism of action is not fully understood, Campral is thought to act on the brain pathways related to alcohol abuse,” the FDA wrote.The FDA had previously rejected the drug in 2002, asking Merck and its U.S. partner Forest Laboratories to conduct additional clinical trials.At the time, the drug was not thought to have great sales potential because few people seek help for alcoholism. Those who do often seek counseling rather than medicines. (Source: Reuters, August 2004)