Adherence to prescribed acamprosate in alcohol dependence and 1-year morbidities and mortality: utilizing a data linkage methodology

Serenella Tolomeo*, Alexander Mario Baldacchino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that poor adherence is associated with a greater risk of alcohol-caused mortality and morbidities within the first year of discontinuing this medication. 

Materials and Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 3319 individuals who received acamprosate in the East of Scotland in a 10-year period was conducted using a health informatics approach with record linkage of dispensing data, hospital utilization (SMR) and General Register Office of Scotland (GROS) data. The primary outcome was adherence between one to six months after initiating acamprosate medication. The secondary outcome was all-cause morbidities and mortality. 

Results: Of the total 3319 individuals identified, a good adherence index of >80% was found in 59% of those prescribed acamprosate after three months and 6% after six months. There were significant linear trends of poorer adherence with increased risk of alcohol-caused mortality (Hazard Ratio, HR 1.2), medical morbidities especially neoplasm (HR 4.1) and poisoning (HR 1.4), and psychiatric morbidities especially stress (HR 35.1), psychotic (HR 5.6) and neurotic disorders, and directly alcohol induced conditions (7.4 HR) after adjustment for other factors within a one-year period of initiation of acamprosate treatment. 

Discussion and Conclusions: Further exploratory studies using this digitalized approach should be encouraged in order to capture role of compliance to acamprosate and other types of medication that are known to reduce relapse into alcohol dependence and its direct relationship to mortality and morbidities in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2102
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2021


  • Adherence
  • Alcohol
  • Acamprosate
  • Mortality
  • Morbidities
  • Data linkage


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