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American scientists have developed the world's first vaccine against drug addiction and will soon begin testing it. This is reported by the professional publication Pharmaceutics.
A possible turning point in the fight against drug addiction was announced by American scientists from a number of research centers and universities in Houston and New Orleans.
We are talking about the opioid epidemic that has claimed the lives of hundreds of people in many countries. Research scientists note that while opioid use disorder is treatable, about 80% of opioid dependent people relapse. However, a dose of fentanyl as small as 2 milligrams, that is, the size of two rice grains, can potentially be fatal, since this drug is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
“Our vaccine is capable of generate antibodies against fentanyl that bind to ingested fentanyl and prevent it from reaching the brain, allowing it to be excreted through the kidneys,” said study lead author Colin Hale, an associate professor at the University of Houston.
Vaccine developers emphasize that that a person does not experience a euphoric effect after vaccination and can return to sanity.
“Anti-antibodies to fentanyl are specific, and the fentanyl derivative does not cross-react with other opioids such as morphine. This means that a person vaccinated against fentanyl can still be treated with other opioids,” the scientists explain.
Clinical studies of the vaccine have not resulted in adverse side effects in immunized rats. Therefore, the research team will be testing clinical vaccines on humans in the coming months.
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