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(Date of issue: December 2015, Version: 3)

This is a UKTIS monograph for use by health care professionals. For case-specific advice please contact UKTIS on 0344 892 0909. To report an exposure please download and complete a pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.


Acamprosate is a synthetic amino acid neuromediator analogue that is similar in structure to taurine and gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA), and which inhibits excitatory neurotransmission. It is licensed for use in conjunction with counselling for maintaining abstinence in alcohol-dependent patients.

There are currently no published human exposure data. Animal reproductive toxicity studies have provided evidence of fetal malformation and increased rates of stillbirth. However, these effects were only observed following administration of maternal doses much greater than those used in human therapy. Human exposure data from a small case series and reports collected prospectively by UKTIS include cases of malformation, adverse neurodevelopmental effects and spontaneous abortion. However, the total number of exposed pregnancies is small (n=29) and the data are heavily confounded, in most cases by maternal alcohol use. It is therefore not possible to reliably comment on the risk posed to the developing fetus following intrauterine acamprosate exposure.

It is therefore not currently possible to recommend the routine use of acamprosate during pregnancy. However, alcohol is a confirmed human teratogen, and as such, maternal acamprosate use may be considered theoretically beneficial in some cases. Where gestational acamprosate use is being considered, the potential benefits should be weighed against the known risks to both mother and fetus of excessive alcohol exposure on a case-by-case basis.

Exposure to acamprosate at any stage in pregnancy would not usually be regarded as medical grounds for termination of pregnancy. However, other risk factors may be present in individual cases which may independently increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Clinicians are reminded of the importance of consideration of such factors when performing case-specific risk assessments. As there are no data which predict the fetal effects of maternal acamprosate use in pregnancy, particularly following use in the first trimester, additional fetal monitoring may be warranted. Due to the limited amount of data currently available, the reporting of exposures to UKTIS is encouraged.

This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use full UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from to be sure you are using the most up-to-date version. The summaries of these monographs are openly available on

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to health care professionals at

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from or to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.