Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cocaine vaccine may help some reduce drug use

A vaccine to treat cocaine dependence appears to reduce use of the drug in a subgroup of individuals. However, only 38 percent of vaccinated individuals produced high enough antibody levels and those who did maintained them for only two months.

Science Daily reports:
About 2.5 million Americans are dependent on cocaine, but only 809,000 receive treatment, according to background information in the article. One of every three drug-related emergency department visits can be attributed to cocaine dependence, which also has substantial social and economic effects.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any pharmacological therapies for cocaine abuse, and behavioral therapies have a wide range of effectiveness. Animal and human studies have suggested that high levels of anticocaine antibodies in the blood can sequester and inactivate cocaine before it enters the brain, reducing feelings of euphoria from the drug without causing any psychoactive effects or harmful interactions. READ MORE