Acamprosate was developed starting in 1982 in France by a company called Laboratoire Meram, and was approved for use in 1989 under the name Aotal. It swiftly began to be further studied and used throughout Europe to help treat alcoholism.
Acamprosate was not approved in the U.S. until 2004; it was subsequently released in 2005 as a drug called Campral. Since then, it has been used and studied enough to be incorporated into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Improvement Protocols as one of the drugs available to help maintain abstinence from alcohol. It is marketed by Forest Pharmaceuticals in the U.S.