A Fentanyl Vaccine Breakthrough May End the Opioid Epidemic
A newly developed fentanyl vaccine blocks the synthetic opioid’s ability to enter the brain and produce the “high” it is known for. This groundbreaking discovery has huge implications for the opioid epidemic. The vaccine could even provide an effective relapse prevention tool for those who have been addicted to opioids. Although opioid use disorder is a treatable disease, up to 80% of individuals relapse.
Fentanyl is also a medication. The vaccine works similarly to other types of vaccines, preventing the drug from crossing the material that separates the brain from the rest of the body. This prevents the drug from suppressing breathing and causing an overdose. In addition, the vaccine is designed to be safe for people who have opioid use disorders. This means the vaccine will be very specific. It could also prove to be useful for young and old people with a higher risk of developing the condition.
A fentanyl vaccine is a promising breakthrough that may end the opioid epidemic. Developed by researchers at the University of Houston, the vaccine can reverse the effects of the synthetic opioid. It works by generating antibodies that prevent fentanyl from entering the brain and causing the euphoric effect. It will not prevent an accidental overdose, however. Until then, it’s still necessary to take Narcan to counteract the immediate effects of fentanyl.
While it’s too early to tell how well the vaccine will work in human trials, it has already been used successfully in animals. The fentanyl vaccine trains T-cells to generate antibodies that will help the body combat the opioid. Researchers hope to begin human clinical trials next year.
Addiction is a complex disease. As a result, the vaccine’s success will depend on the adjuvants used in it. This adjuvant is an essential component in helping the immune system respond to the vaccine. The vaccine would be used as a component of medical treatment for patients. The vaccine would be a great option for drug abuse recovery. While it may not be a cure, it would at least provide a tool to help the sufferers stop using the opioids.
Researchers matched patients with and without substance use disorders. These patients were matched based on demographic, socioeconomic, and physical illness. The researchers then analyzed the risks of getting a breakthrough infection in people who had been fully vaccinated and who had a history of substance use disorder. They then examined whether the vaccine would reduce the risk of hospitalization or death. The results of the study are promising.
“We believe these findings could have a significant impact on a very serious problem plaguing society for years – opioid misuse. Our vaccine is able to generate anti-fentanyl antibodies that bind to the consumed fentanyl and prevent it from entering the brain, allowing it to be eliminated out of the body via the kidneys. Thus, the individual will not feel the euphoric effects and can ‘get back on the wagon’ to sobriety,” said the study’s lead author Colin Haile, a research associate professor of psychology at UH and the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics (TIMES), and a founding member of the UH Drug Discovery Institute.
The vaccine may be safe to use and has no adverse side effects in lab tests. However, it will likely be a while before it reaches the public. But the team behind the vaccine hopes to launch clinical trials in humans as soon as possible. So far, it’s still not clear how this vaccine will affect the drug epidemic. If the vaccine works as well as it claims, it will be a viable option for treatment and recovery.
The researchers showed that the immunized male and female rats produced high levels of anti-FEN antibodies and decreased FEN levels in the brain. Furthermore, they showed that the immunization prevented FEN-induced rate-disrupting effects on the schedule-controlled responding of the rats. Moreover, the vaccine prevented morphine and sufentanil-induced physiological changes in male and female rats.