November 01, 2014   2:19am
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Good News for smokers and drug addicts …

No, there is no discount on Camels. But new vaccines for addiction are being developed with a new approach to kicking the habit, that could save far more than money.

“Frustrated by the high relapse rate of traditional addiction treatments, scientists are working on a strategy that recruits the body’s own defenses to help addicts kick drug habits.”

“The new approach uses injected vaccines to block some addictive substances from reaching the brain” by having antibodies stick to nicotine molecules, making them too large to pass through to the brain, and thus, blocking receptors from delivering rewards. The article, “Quest For Vaccines To Treat Addiction,” in last week’s Wall Street Journal describes how, while the vaccines won’t eliminate your urge to smoke (or do other drugs such as cocaine or heroine), they certainly could help some individuals quit when the pleasure is stripped from the equation. Whereas current treatments such as methadone and the patch are used to mimic the effects of the drug, these vaccines “work by tricking the body to reject drugs as if they are foreign pathogens” and “spur the immune system to create antibodies to fight the tiny, addictive-drug molecules.”

So far, Nabi Biopharmaceuticals are leading the pack in the race to find an addiction vaccine, though the second phase testing did not produce results comparable to the success of Chantix*— a leading smoking-cessation drug that works in the brain rather than in the bloodstream.

What are the benefits of their vaccine vs Chantix? According to the CEO Raafat Fahim, “The relapse is the biggest thing,” saying that antibodies produced from the vaccine stay with you for a long time, protecting you from possible relapse. The vaccine could also be administered on a monthly basis as opposed to the daily regiment required by most current medications. In addition, the fact that the drug works through the bloodstream and not the brain eliminates the possibility of side effects such as depression or suicidal thoughts (for which Chantix currently carries a warning).

To read more, visit the article here.

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The Wall Street Journal, “Quest For Vaccines To Treat Addiction,” Mark Long, May 3, 2011, Pg D1

*Please note that this is the Chantix manufacturer’s site that we are linking you to, so read with that in mind.  Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Chantix.

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