Fentanyl Vaccine Called ‘Game-Changer’

Fentanyl Vaccine Called ‘Game-Changer’
High Times

Could a fentanyl vaccine potentially save thousands of lives? A recent animal study published in the journal Pharmaceutics indicates that a fentanyl vaccine was able to block the drug from entering the brain of rats—thus making it a worthy candidate for human studies and eventually something available to the public that can save lives. Researchers administered rats with three doses of the vaccine or immunization at three-week intervals, and another group of rats received a placebo. To determine if the drug was working, they tested the immunized rats’ pain responses by heating up their tails for up to 10 seconds and seeing how long they took to pull away. The vaccination significantly reduced entry of fentanyl into the brain and anti-fentanyl antibodies targeted fentanyl with no cross-reactions to other opioids.  “We believe these findings could have a significant impact on a very serious problem plaguing society for years—opioid misuse,” study lead author Colin Haile told University of Houston (UH) news. “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.”  Haile is 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 anti-fentanyl antibodies were specific to fentanyl and a fentanyl derivative and did not cross-react with other opioids, such as morphine. That means a vaccinated person would still be able to be treated for pain relief with other opioids,” said Haile.  Meanwhile, over 150 people die every day of overdose from synthetic opioids including fentanyl, which is 50 times…

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