Towards an anti-cocaine vaccine
Cocaine addiction could be countered by a simple vaccine?
US researchers say the vaccine they have created is causing cocaine addicts to abandon their drug use. In fact, the injected substance increases the level of antibodies against the drug, which makes it inactive before it reaches the brain and produces its euphoric effects.
Teams from Yale University and Baylor College come to this conclusion after six months of clinical trial.
The results show that 38% of vaccinated cocaine addicts produce a sufficient level of antibodies to block the effects of the drug. As a result, cocaine use has plummeted, with some consumers ceasing to take any.
A downside however: the effects have not persisted for more than two months.
The authors therefore believe that optimal treatment would require repeated vaccinations to maintain adequate antibody levels.
The lead author of the study, Thomas Kosten, has been developing a cocaine vaccine for 15 years.
"Fifteen years ago, everyone said that it was impossible to produce antibodies against small molecules like this one. Dr. Thomas Kosten
According to the International Narcotics Control Board, cocaine is the second most commonly used drug in North America, accounting for 2.3 million users in the United States alone.