Navigation Links
Cocaine Addiction Vaccine Shows Some Success

Shot produced desired antibodies in some, but effects were fleeting, scientists say

MONDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine to help cocaine addicts beat their habit is showing some effect but is far from a cure, researchers report.

Slightly more than one-third of participants in a new study developed desired immune system antibodies to the illicit drug and, in this group, cocaine use did go down. But the effects were only sustained for two months, the researchers found.

Experts were heartened by the finding but still circumspect in predicting how they might benefit active addicts.

"The results are promising, to be sure, but still the majority of participants did not respond," said Jeffrey T. Parsons, professor and chair of psychology at Hunter College in New York City. "It's also important to point out that all participants were also on methadone maintenance and cognitive behavioral therapy, so the best possible role this vaccine could play in the future of the treatment of cocaine addiction is as a part of a series of intervention efforts. The vaccine by itself is not likely to have strong effects, unless coupled with other forms of treatment."

"It's not the cure or the treatment but it's a good way to go," added Jean Bidlack, professor of pharmacology and physiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

And several major shortcomings still need to be worked out, such as the role of booster shots to keep up needed level of antibodies, pointed out Dr. Steven Prenzlauer, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Round Rock, and director of psychiatry and behavioral health at Lone Star Circle of Care.

Still, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, said during an afternoon press conference: "These findings are transformative in their ability to show for the first time positive results in cocaine addiction. This may be a promising approach as a strategy to address other types of drug addiction. This opens up a series of new opportunities."

Dr. Thomas Kosten, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, added at the news conference: "The participants in some cases were taking up to 10 times the usual dose but weren't getting a high from it and eventually ran out of money."

According to background information in the study, which appears in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, 2.5 million people in the United States are currently addicted to cocaine, yet only 809,000 of them are getting treatment. This type of addiction accounts for a full third of visits to emergency departments.

There are currently no approved drug therapies for cocaine addiction, although a variety of behavioral therapies are used.

Unlike methadone -- another opiate sometimes referred to as "medical heroin" -- the new vaccine actually affixes itself to cocaine, thereby rendering the drug useless, Bidlack explained.

The relatively short (six-month) trial was led by Dr. Bridget A. Martell, of Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, and Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven. The study involved 94 adults, mostly white men, who were users of crack cocaine and who were in methadone maintenance programs for opioid addiction.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive five shots, either a placebo or the actual vaccine.

Thirty-eight percent of participants achieved the desired level of antibodies or higher. This group also had more "clean" urine samples than those with lower antibody levels and those in the placebo group (45 percent versus 35 percent).

Higher levels were first seen at week eight and then dropped off precipitously between weeks 16 and 24, the researchers found.

Side effects were mainly restricted to tenderness around the injection site.

There is some difficulty translating these findings into a "real-world" setting, experts said.

"These cocaine users were also methadone-maintained and opiate-dependent, representing a small subgroup of those addicted to cocaine," Parsons noted. "From this study, we have no idea whether or not this vaccine will be effective in those whose primary, or even sole addiction, is to cocaine."

And the participants were already in a methadone-maintenance program, giving them more incentive to stay in the trial, Prenzlauer said.

The study was sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Veterans Affairs Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center. Martell is also a medical director at drug company Pfizer.

More information

There's more on cocaine and other substance abuse at the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

SOURCES: Jeffrey T. Parsons, Ph.D., professor and chair of psychology, Hunter College, New York City; Steven Prenzlauer, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Round Rock, and director of psychiatry and behavioral health, Lone Star Circle of Care, Round Rock, Texas; Jean Bidlack, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and physiology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; Nora Volkow, M.D., director, U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse; Thomas Kosten, M.D., professor of psychiatry and neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston; October 2009, Archives of General Psychiatry

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New treatment effective in counteracting cocaine-induced symptoms
2. Drug Detection Kits Manufactured By IDenta Corp. Shown During French Television Broadcast (at TF1) - Product Aids French Police In Bust of 600 Kilograms Of Cocaine
3. Cocaine Use Dulls Brains Sensitivity to Rewards
4. $2.2M NIH grant to develop drugs to suppress cocaine cravings
5. Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Announces Positive Phase II Trial Results for Vigabatrin in the Treatment of Cocaine Addiction
6. Cocaines effects on brain metabolism may contribute to abuse
7. Use of Methamphetamine Among U.S. Workers and Job Applicants Drops 22 Percent in 2007 and Cocaine Use Slows Dramatically, Reports Quest Diagnostics
8. Subordinate monkeys more likely to choose cocaine over food
9. Animal research suggests new strategy for treating cocaine addiction
10. Gene therapy reduces cocaine use in rats
11. Gene Therapy in Rats Reduces Cocaine Use
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... IBM software products, introduced a new company, RightSensor™ LLC, an Internet of Things ... capability. RightSensor™ provides a fully-managed approach for customers requiring sensor hardware for ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... CHENNAI, India (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... advanced camera solutions, today announced See3CAM_CU40, the industry’s first RGB-IR pixel format ... module. See3CAM_CU40, a new member of e-con’s See3CAM family of UVC USB 3.0 cameras, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Protein is essential to good health. You need ... blood. But how much protein does the average man need in order to stay ... the October 2015 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch . Most Americans get ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... T-System and Centegra Health System, a prominent ... visits per year, today announced the successful and rapid deployment of EV™, an ... financial outcomes. , In less than four days, Centegra Hospitals McHenry ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing , a ... snow melting invention that helps people in clearing snow away from the streets and ... grow at 3.8% per year," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015  Measurement in accountable care programs ... financial incentives, but gaps in measurement can result ... health systems. A new, peer-reviewed study published ... explores measurement gaps for high-priority conditions ... --> --> "These ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Nanomedical Diagnostics, ... use in research and diagnostics, announces the completion ... million led by Serra Ventures. ... is providing low-cost, easy-to-use monitoring and diagnostic platforms ... decisions. The funding round will enable the company ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13 2015 ... the "US & European Markets for ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "US & European Markets ... (2010-2021)" report to their offering. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: