Sinclair Method & campral

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I've tried searching the internet about the Sinclair method, Campral, and drinking; but can't find anything to answer my questions. I have seen some pretty awesome responses on other posts here, so thought I'd give it a try.

I am going back on Nalrexone... after 7 months of sobriety I stopped taking the meds. It was ok at first but sure didn't take long to end up right back where I was. I won't go into the details cause I'm sure most here already understands. Well, I've had enough and got my scripts filled.

I just heard about TSM, watched Claudia Christians speech, movie, and even read/listened to her book Babylon confidential (in 3 days). I have to say I'm very excited at the possibility to go out with friends and drink responsibly. But what I'm more excited about is the possibility to do that AND still get endorphins from working out etc. when I was on this before I was just there, alive, but very alone because I'm single and couldn't stand going anywhere.

ANYWAY, the reason for this post is to find out if it is safe to follow the Sinclair method while also taking Campral. The reason I ask is because you're not supposed to drink on the Campral....

I'd appreciate thoughts, ideas, research, or whatever anyone has.

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Brittany,

    It is safe in the sense that naltrexone and campral do not contraindicate each other, so it won't physically harm you but I am wondering why you would be looking to use both together?

    Most clinical trials you can find on the internet assume that campral and naltrexone are combined for relapse prevention - hence both tablets taken every day.  One such study concluded that 'The combination of acamprosate with naltrexone in a clinical sample seems to be efficacious and safe. Numerous alcohol dependent patients could benefit, particularly those that responded insufficiently on monotherapeutic treatment with either acamprosate or naltrexone.'

    However, these were done, as I mentioned, by studying those who took both medications every day and tried to remain abstinent.  They were NOT done with the instructions of taking campral every day, but only taking naltrexone as and when needed prior to drinking (ie The Sinclair Method) so to the best of my knowledge, there are no studies that has been done on using campral and naltrexone as per The Sinclair Method, though I may be wrong on that.

    Done compliantly, The Sinclair Method is effective for a very, very high proportion of those who try it - around 80%.

    With The Sinclair Method you go about your daily life as normal and only take the tablet and a drink an hour later when you experience a craving.  This leaves you free to experience endorphins during times when the naltrexone is not in your system.  Repeat this over many months and the pathways associating alcohol with reward weaken, reduce and eventually return to pre-learned drinking behaviour.  Leaving you alcohol and medication free.

    As far as I can see this would render the need for taking campral redundant.

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    • Posted

      Joanna

      i meant to add both yourself and paul, along with RHGB as being experts, but got distracted so I do apologise.

      your reply was much more detailed and professional than mine, but I think we were of the same opinion

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    • Posted

      I see your train of thought but that is not condusive to how TSM works.

      The basic concept of TSM is not to try and hold off cravings, but instead to recognise the craving, take the naltrexone, wait one hour, and then drink.

      That is how TSM works to use your own brain's learning mechanism to extinguish the cravings.  It sounds very counterintuative, but you actually need to do this every time you experience a craving.

      Each time you do this, it's called an extinction session and each extinction session will weaken that pathway a little more each time, until eventually you are not craving at all.

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    • Posted

      In addition, campral needs to be taken consistently, as prescribed every day. 

      That means that can't not take it if you plan to drink and therefore use naltrexone because it may affect it's overall effectiveness.  However, drinking with campral in your system may also affect it's overall effectiveness too.

      It's really catch-22 for you.  If you feel that you want to continue with campral and remain abstinent, you should find that in due course, you will not be wanting to drink anyway OR if you believe you want to drink responsibly, then you can try TSM but without the campral.

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    • Posted

      That all makes complete sense! The campral is NOT cheap by any means, so I guess in reality, you're answer is really what I was hoping to hear!

      Other than the cure, Wich I bought through Amazon, are there other "self help" books you'd recommend? I just finished listening to Claudia christians book via audible and it was amazing! I wish the had the cure in audible as well.

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    • Posted

      Yes, as Paul says, it has pretty much been said.

      I have read the studies Joanna mentioned, but as she has said, the benefit of the two medications was in trying to avoid alcohol altogether. Campral has no effect if you drink regularly.

      The only point I would add, that I haven't seen covered, is that you mentioned that whilst previously taking Naltrexone you felt that you couldn't get enjoyment from life in non alcoholic activities.

      Can you confirm that you were only taking it on days that you were drinking and only one hour before you started drinking?

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    • Posted

      My psychiatrist told me to take naltrexone daily ( he didn't even mention TSM). Since the Sinclair method is to only take an hour before drinking, I have high hopes I will enjoy life aside from alcohol.

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  • Posted

    There is an expert on here,RHGB who I'm sure will answer your question.

    i was on campral for 12 months, with the odd break in between. The idea of campral in very simple terms is that it trains your brain not to think about wanting alcohol. I can't see the point of taking a drug which is for abstainance and taking another which you need to drink with.

    you'll get some replies from people here, and my view may be totally wrong

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  • Posted

    Joanna has said all I would have said plus more. There is no benefit to taking Campral when doing The Sinclair Method. The point of TSM is to retrain the brain not to crave over time by blocking the receptors so that they don't get the same problematic reward that people with alcohol use disorder get when they drink. Campral is designed to prevent craving in people who are abstinent.

    I would suggest that, after starting on naltrexone, campral should be stopped but you should discuss it with whoever is prescribing for you.

    Good luck with sorting out your issues smile

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