Octavian Vasiliu, Daniel Vasile



Vaccines for Drug Dependence: A Systematic Review of the Literature

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vaccines, drug dependence, drug abuse, drug addiction, haptens, cocaine, nicotine, methamphetamine, opioids


Drug abuse and dependence are serious threats to individual and public health. Drug use has a severe impact over global functionality, quality of life, healthcare costs, academic and professional performances, life expectancy etc. Although the importance of drug related disorders is obvious, very few approved treatments are available. Vaccines have been considered a possible solution due to their theoretical long-lasting effects. Vaccines for cocaine and nicotine dependence reached the phase III of human trials, but the results are not very encouraging. No human trials have been initiated for anti-methamphetamine and anti-opioids vaccines, as they are still in the preclinical phase of development. Problems related to haptens and adjuvants are related to the vaccines’ immunogenicity and it seems that only a minority of tested subjects respond with significant levels of antibodies. A powerful motivation for change is also required, since a high dose of drug could overcome the level of circulating antibodies induced by vaccines. In conclusion, the current stage of research is not satisfactory, but there is still hope for the future development of anti-drugs of abuse vaccines.

Cite this paper

Octavian Vasiliu, Daniel Vasile. (2017) Vaccines for Drug Dependence: A Systematic Review of the Literature. International Journal of Medical Pharmacology, 2, 1-6