Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2014 Aug;12(2):166-168.

Acamprosate-induced Extrapyramidal Symptoms in an Elderly Patient with Alcohol Dependence

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


Acamprosate reduces the craving for alcohol by decreasing glutamate activity and increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) action in patients with alcohol dependence. Acamprosate has tolerable side effects that include diarrhea, headache, dizziness and pruritus. In this study, we report acamprosate-induced extrapyramidal symptoms in an elderly patient with no history of neurologic disease. Severe extrapyramidal symptoms developed two days after the administration of acamprosate and improved over one week after the acamprosate was stopped. Extrapyramidal symptoms are commonly associated with dopamine receptor antagonists. However, there have been several reports of extrapyramidal symptoms occurring with drugs targeting other systems, including GABA, glutamate and serotonin. Acamprosate may decrease dopamine levels in the ventral tegmental area mediated by glutamatergic action and thus cause extrapyramidal symptoms. We suggest that acamprosate carries the risk of causing extrapyramidal symptoms.


Acamprosate; Extrapyramidal symptoms; Glutamate; Gamma-aminobutyric acid
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