Mexican Scientists Unveil Vaccine Against Heroin Addiction

5567541966_5f2b89f5d6An inoculation could make the ravages of drug dependency an ailment of the past. One imagines the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries putting up an epic battle a few years down the road when researchers turn their sights toward developing vaccines to eliminate cigarette and painkiller addiction. Reuters reports:

A group of Mexican scientists is working on a vaccine that could reduce addiction to one of the world’s most notorious narcotics: heroin. They have successfully tested the vaccine on mice and are preparing to test it on humans.

The vaccine, which has been patented in the United States, works by making the body resistant to the effects of heroin, so users would no longer get a rush of pleasure when they smoke or inject it.

26 Comments on "Mexican Scientists Unveil Vaccine Against Heroin Addiction"

  1. Jin The Ninja | Feb 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

    i’d be surprised if they make it legal in n. america -that’s IF it works at all – without serious side-effects…

    • Mr Willow | Feb 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |

      I could imagine the advertisements. 

      “Heroinnot may cause eye irritation, skin sensitivity, thinning of the blood, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, paranoia, sensitivity to light and sound, drowsiness, chills, irritability, agitation, depressed mood, strange dreams, and thoughts of suicide. Please to not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking Heroinnot. Please stop taking Heroinnot if you notice blood in urine or stool, or notice a reddening of the eyes, and consult a doctor before continuing use, as these may indicate a condition that may be life-threatening. In lab studies, some patients exhibited symptoms such as internal bleeding, rarely resulting in death. *in a slightly louder, happy tone* Choose to be free from addiction, choose Heroinnot (or Zexcerin, or whatever name they use to market it).”

      And then, I can imagine this commercial, six to eight months later.

      “Did you or someone you know take Heroinnot? If so, you may be entitled to compensation, as this drug has been linked to ulcers, chemical dementia, depression, suicide, and erosion of the digestive tract [you can always substitute your own horrible, potentially lethal side-effect], which have resulted in hospitalisation and death. Please, call this 1-800 number if you or someone you know took Heroinnot, as you may be entitled to compensation.”

      • Jin The Ninja | Feb 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm |

        lol! exactly! i’ve never tried heroin, nor do i wish to, but in an alternate universe where i have, i’d rather take my chances with iboga or an ibogaine derivative

      • It should be used by people who are addicted to heroin who are probably going to die anyway….why does any of your side effect bullshit even matter

        • Mr Willow | Feb 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm |

          Right, because all ‘medication’ is used as it’s intended. . . and even when it is used properly, it is proven about six months later that what was advertised to alleviate suffering was a poison in itself. (hence, the nod to lawsuit adverts)

  2. why the hell are they calling it a vaccine…?

    • Calypso_1 | Feb 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

      Technically , its immunotherapy – which vaccines fall under in that they are any substance that acts as an antigen – using the immune system to produce antibodies.  The historical derivation of ‘vaccine’ and commonly held definition is one of anti-microbial immunotherapy.  Antigens themselves are not specifically microbial but are of molecular origin, most often proteins. This sort of research is regularly published in vaccine related journals.

  3. is it any different to the other types of blockers?

    • Calypso_1 | Feb 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

      Yes, ‘blockers’, such as Naloxone are opiod receptor antagonists.  This means they literally take up the space that an opiate would bind with.  They have a greater affinity for the receptor and don’t produce the same effects, as the opiate.  Think of it as a lock-out-tag-out for the opiod receptors. 
      Opiate vaccines stimulate the immune system to recognize the specific drug, in this case heroin, to the exclusion of other narcotics that have different structures.  The drug is recognized as an antigen and creates a humoral immune response resulting in neutralization of the opiate as a toxin.   

  4. So it  works by “making the body resistant to the effects of heroin, so users would no longer get a rush of pleasure when they smoke or inject it.”  That’s fine and all, but the rush of pleasure (which is usually pretty minimal by the time someone is trying to quit) isn’t the problem.  Physical withdrawal is the problem.  It’s the reason someone on say, methadone, is almost 90% likely to stay on methadone for life (if they don’t give up and go back).  Does this stuff address withdrawal?

    • Calypso_1 | Feb 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm |

      No, taking it by itself in the presence of heroin addiction would precipitate withdrawal.  There needs to be the use of concomitant therapies and a tapered reduction with drugs such as Buprenorphine.
      However, heroin itself could no longer be used to relieve withdrawal.

    • glitchbomb | Feb 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

      You are 100% correct. It almost seems like a preventative measure which there are many of already.

  5. Calypso_1 | Feb 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm |

    Undoubtedly, this will be a required vaccine for narcs.

  6. DeepCough | Feb 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm |

    Would you believe it’s possible to cure heroin addicts with REAL heroin?,8599,1926160,00.html

    • Calypso_1 | Feb 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm |

      Withdrawal through supervised dose titration in a long-term therapeutic environment –   No surprise here – as with many issues the problem is political will and not the available methods. 

  7. and how do i get this!!?  sign me up!

  8. Anomaly_of_Anomie | Feb 28, 2012 at 12:20 am |

    So what happens when you are in the hospital due to serious accident or surgery, and the drugs fail to relieve pain? 

    • Calypso_1 | Feb 28, 2012 at 1:30 am |

      The antigens are specific to the structure of morphine-based opiates and drugs like Fentanyl and Demerol remain effective.

      • Anomaly_of_Anomie | Feb 28, 2012 at 5:28 am |

        That would be nothing short of torture. 

        • Calypso_1 | Feb 28, 2012 at 6:42 am |

          Why? Fentanyl is 100x more potent than morphine.

          • Anomaly_of_Anomie | Feb 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm |

             I took your statement to mean that those drugs would not be “excluded” from the vaccine’s effect.

            Synthetic opiates work just as well or better to relieve pain, and they work just as well or better to get people high. The brain’s assimilation  of pain relief is not predisposed by medicinal or street environment. 

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm |

            ahh, poor wording on my part, I’ll edit.  Thx.

  9. I would never take any drug invented by a Mexican scientist.

    • you are a racist… medical science is just as advanced in mexico as it is in the u.s

  10. So addicts will just find something else. Wish it were this easy.

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