Vaccines for Addiction Gaining Momentum

Johnson MW, Ettinger RH. Active cocaine immunization attenuates the discriminative properties of cocaine. Benowitz NL, Jacob P III, Kozlowski LT, Yu L. Influence of smoking fewer cigarettes on exposure to tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide. Sign up now for a weekly digest of the top drug and alcohol news that impacts your work, life and community.

Those fears echoed similar concerns of parents in Minnesota’s Somali community during a 2017 measles outbreak that infected 75 children, mostly unvaccinated preschool kids. “I think there is more mistrust of the government, there’s more questioning of vaccines, and we’ve been having a harder time getting people vaccinated,” said Zink, who is also president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Bianca Hernandez, a 37-year-old dog breeder in the Albuquerque metropolitan area, described concerns about the link between vaccine ingredients and autism, a view that has been extensively disproved.

These limitations in treatment have opened the opportunity for developing alternatives such as vaccines for drug abuse. Anti-addiction vaccines have distinctly different mechanisms and therapeutic utility from small molecule approaches to treatment. Furthermore, vaccine production is less expensive, thus, they have great potential to become available for wider ranges of patients world-wide and for complementing the psychosocial tools needed for a transition to a medication-free and abstinent life.

In some cases, the vaccine may also protect against death from opioid overdose by respiratory arrest, which occurs when oxycodone enters the brain and binds to cells in the breathing center. Researchers have been trying to make vaccines to treat drug addiction for a while. For example, people who received experimental vaccines against nicotine and cocaine made some antibodies that recognize these drugs, but not enough to cause a change in a person’s substance use.

In 2008 Nabi started a Phase III trial for NicVAX, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 1,000 patients. The primary endpoint of the study was the abstinence eco sober house price rate for 16 weeks ending at 12 months. Abstinence was evaluated by self-reported cigarette consumption and biologically verified by exhaled carbon monoxide.

Thus studying and understanding the potential risks of immunotherapy in women who could become pregnant will be very important. When a drug is administered to a vaccinated animal, the drug is bound and retained in the blood by the high concentration of antibody present (Figure A-4). As a result, the total concentration of drug in the blood is higher in a vaccinated animal (Owens and Mayersohn, 1986; Fox et al., 1996).

Although the amount of antibody elicited by vaccination has a limit, passive immunization allows the administration of as much antibody as desired. Passive immunization may prove to have advantages in settings where very high antibody doses are needed for clinical efficacy or for individuals who are vaccinated but fail to achieve a satisfactory antibody response. It is likely that a series of two to four injections over 1 to 2 months will be needed for vaccination to produce a satisfactory immune response (Hieda et al., 2000; Byrnes-Blake et al., 2001; Kantak et al., 2001; Kosten et al., 2002a). This 1- to 2-month interval is a potentially important disadvantage since the onset of therapeutic effect would be similarly delayed. However, vaccination can be accomplished even while drug use continues; the presence of drug does not diminish the immune response (Hieda et al., 2000; Byrnes-Blake et al., 2001). Thus individuals could be vaccinated in preparation for stopping drug use by starting 1 to 2 months in advance.

Anticipated Clinical Role of Immunization

And would it work for every human or would genetic factors mean the results varied between individuals? Trials on humans are planned for 2013 so it may be that we are on the brink of discovering a successful addiction vaccine. Ma LX, Zhou Q, Zheng HB, Li SB. Preparation and characterization of anti-morphine vaccine antibody. Rook EJ, Huitema AD, van den Brink W, van Ree JM, Beijnen JH. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of high doses of pharmaceutically prepared heroin, by intravenous or by inhalation route in opioid-dependent patients.

  • The trial included 115 patients from a methadone maintenance program who were randomly assigned to receive the anti-cocaine vaccine or a placebo vaccine.
  • Hieda Y, Keyler DE, Vandevoort JT, Kane JK, Ross CA, Raphael DE, Niedbalas RS, Pentel PR. Active immunization alters the plasma nicotine concentration in rats.
  • During the several months after vaccination, patients would therefore be committed to this therapy.
  • The purpose of this appendix is to present the scientific basis for vaccines and depot medications as a background for addressing these unusual and challenging issues.
  • In the past, Zink said, herd immunity would have protected the woman against such childhood diseases.
  • For example, antibodies to nicotine elicited by a vaccine bind only nicotine and do not bind nicotine metabolites , other molecules normally present in the body such as neurotransmitters or hormones, or other drugs or medications (Pentel et al., 2000).

Vaccination is most effective when the available amount of antibody is large compared to the drug dose (Fox et al., 1996; Valentine et al., 1996; Keyler et al., 1999). Surprisingly, vaccination remains effective in reducing drug distribution to the brain even when drug doses exceed the available binding capacity of antibody (Carrera et al., 2001; Tuncok et al., 2001). This is fortunate because the single and daily doses of most drugs of abuse exceed the amount of drug-specific antibody that can be elicited by vaccination. Nevertheless, the amount of antibody elicited by vaccination is very important, and greater amounts confer greater efficacy in altering drug distribution and reducing drug effects. Thus individuals with better responses to a vaccine would be expected to derive greater benefit from vaccination. In summary, we either lack treatments or have had limited success with existing therapeutics .

The barrier normally does not block out drug molecules, which easily pass through it despite being harmful. Among all these, there is one whose antibody corresponds to the hapten as a lock corresponds to a key. There are billions of B-lymphocytes, and each one expresses a different antibody on its surface. Vaccination protects rats from methamphetamine-induced impairment of behavioral responding for food.

Vaccine technology is a revolutionary step in treating human addiction.

The degree to which cocaine self-administration in rats is blocked by immunization depends on the concentration of antibody in the blood (Carrera et al., 2000; Kantak et al., 2000). Efficacy in blocking cocaine self-administration appears to require a certain threshold antibody concentration. Rats with lower antibody concentrations may show either no effect or a paradoxical increase in self-administration, presumably to compensate for the partial blockade of its effects. Whether compensation occurs likely depends on the concentration of antibody in blood and the cocaine dose.

If a sufficient amount of antibody is present when a drug is administered, a substantial fraction of the dose will bind to antibody in the blood so that the fraction of the dose entering the brain is reduced (Figure A-1). Because addictive drugs act in the brain, limiting the amount of drug entering the brain should also reduce the drug’s effects. The hope in using this strategy is to reduce the rewarding effects of the drug that lead to and sustain addiction. For example, a cocaine addict who is vaccinated and then takes a puff of crack cocaine would feel little effect and therefore be less likely to continue using it. This potential application is of course quite speculative, since efficacy has not yet been demonstrated in humans, and much more toxicity testing would be needed to assure the high level of safety required for administration to teenagers or young adults. However, vaccination could be targeted to high-risk groups—for example, teenagers who already smoke a few cigarettes weekly and who have a very high likelihood of becoming regular smokers over the next 1 to 2 years .

vaccine addiction

The appropriate use of immunization and depot medications to treat drug dependence will benefit from an understanding of their underlying mechanisms and consideration of approaches adapted for the use of long-acting medications for other purposes. As with vaccination, the specificity of passive immunization suggests a favorable safety profile. No important adverse effects have been noted to date in animal studies of either polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies to reverse or prevent drug effects.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Thus the clinical and ethical issues presented by depot naltrexone have a precedent in antipsychotic medications. Depot antipsychotic medications have proven to be acceptable to both patients and health care providers when used in select patients (Adams et al., 2001; Walburn et al., 2001). Each of the considerations mentioned above for vaccine safety apply to passive immunization as well. However, monoclonal antibody concentrations in blood will fall at a predictable rate after the last dose , so the duration of action should be quite predictable . Moreover, the problem of long-term persistence of very low levels of antibody will not occur with passive immunization.

Unlike heroin and opioid drugs, there are no medications used to treat cocaine addiction. You might receive treatment with a pharmaceutical drug if you have a co-addiction that can be treated pharmacologically, such as an addiction to alcohol or opioids. Preventing or reducing drug effect In the context of this discussion, the ability of vaccination to block or reduce the addictive effects of drugs is the desired therapeutic outcome.

For practical purposes, antibody concentrations in blood should be negligible within about 6 months of the last dose. Preliminary data are available from Phase I trials of two distinct nicotine vaccines, both indicating immunogenicity of the vaccine and the absence of serious adverse effects (Lindmayer et al., 2002; St. Clair Roberts et al., 2002). Further clinical trials aimed at establishing suitable vaccination regimens are under way.

vaccine addiction

LeSage MG, Keyler DE, Hieda Y, Valentine J, Ross C, Fattom A, Ennifar S, Pentel PR. Effects of a nicotine conjugate vaccine on the acquisition of nicotine self-administration in rats ; Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Annual Meeting; March; Seattle, WA. Killian A, Bonese K, Rothberg RM, Wainer BH, Schuster CR. Effects of passive immunization against morphine on heroin self-administration. Keyler DE, Shoeman D, LeSage MG, Calvin AD, Pentel PR. Maternal vaccination against nicotine reduces nicotine distribution to fetal brain in rats. Hardin JS, Wessinger WD, Proksch JW, Owens SM. Pharmacodynamics of a monoclonal antiphencyclidine Fab with broad selectivity for phencyclidine-like drugs. Adams CE, Fenton MK, Quraishi S, David AS. Systematic meta-review of depot antipsychotic drugs for people with schizophrenia.

Vaccines for Drug Abuse

Ongoing work at the Center for Medication Development for Substance Use Disorders is heavily geared at developing an inoculation against opioid molecules with the potential for saving millions of lives devastated by addiction. If effective, this vaccine could work in ways that other treatments have failed and could dramatically alleviate the cost and burden of addiction treatment nationally. It will then take a year to manufacture enough vaccine for his 2-year phase 1 clinical trial. «Our greatest challenge is generating as strong an immune response as possible to induce the effect we’re looking for,» he said. «Like any other vaccine, you inject the vaccine and you use your immune system to produce antibodies,» says Dr. Ivan Montoya, acting director of the division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

After consulting with counterparts in Minnesota, health officials in Ohio have been working closely with the Somali community to increase vaccination uptake without stigmatizing them. Columbus public health workers have hosted vaccine clinics at a community center and a mosque and are conducting home visits to provide shots. They have also reached out to schools, day-care centers and grocery stores about the importance of vaccination. The growing negative attitudes about school immunization requirements are troubling for health workers. Kentucky officials are urging that people get flu shots after six children — none of whom were vaccinated — died after contracting influenza.

Hays JT, Ebbert JO. Adverse effects and tolerability of medications for the treatment of tobacco use and dependence. Meijler MM, Matsushita M, Wirsching P, Janda KD. Development of immunopharmacotherapy against drugs of abuse. This is just one of the questions that may soon be answered as the vaccine eco sober house boston moves through human testing. In the end, such vaccines may prove to be useful when used in combination with other treatment options including cognitive behavior therapy and pharmacology. The first experimental vaccine for opioid addiction is now in phase 1 clinical testing in the United States.