Acamprosate attenuates the handling induced convulsions during alcohol withdrawal in Swiss Webster mice

Physiol Behav. 2008 Sep 3;95(1-2):267-270. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.05.020. Epub 2008 Jun 6.


In the present study, we examined the effects of acamprosate for its ability to reduce handling induced convulsions (HICs) during alcohol withdrawal. Diazepam was used as a positive control. Swiss Webster male mice received three daily IP injections of alcohol (2.5 g/kg) or alcohol (2.5 g/kg)+methylpyrazole (4-MP) (9 mg/kg). (4-MP, being an alcohol dehydrogenase inhibitor slows down the breakdown of alcohol. 4-MP in combination with alcohol exhibits a dramatic increase in blood alcohol level compared to alcohol alone). Ten hours following the last alcohol injection, the mice were picked up by the tail and examined for their seizure susceptibility (HICs). Diazepam, a benzodiazepine known to reduce seizures during alcohol withdrawal, significantly reduced these HICs at doses of 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg/kg (p's<0.001). Acamprosate, an anti-relapse compound used clinically in newly abstinent alcoholics, also reduced these HICs at doses of 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg (p's<0.05). This study supports the use of acamprosate during periods of alcohol withdrawal as well as during abstinence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acamprosate
  • Alcohol Deterrents / therapeutic use*
  • Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures / blood
  • Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures / drug therapy*
  • Alcohols / adverse effects
  • Alcohols / blood
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Antidotes / therapeutic use
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Diazepam / therapeutic use
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Fomepizole
  • Handling, Psychological*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Taurine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Taurine / therapeutic use


  • Alcohol Deterrents
  • Alcohols
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidotes
  • Pyrazoles
  • Taurine
  • Fomepizole
  • Acamprosate
  • Diazepam