Substance abuse is a major worldwide epidemic, addiction to both legal and illicit drugs continues to be a major worldwide medical and social problem. Drug addiction is defined as a disease state in which the body relies on a substance for normal functioning and develops physical dependence leading to compulsive and repetitive use despite negative consequences to the user’s health, mental state or social life. Psychoactive substances such as cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, amphetamines and opiates are able to cross the blood-brain barrier once ingested and temporarily alter the chemical balance of the brain leading to positive reinforcing effects associated with them. Current medications used for the treatment of substance dependence are typically agonists or antagonists of the drugs of abuse. The complex interrelations of the neuronal circuits have made it difficult to accurately predict the actions of potential agonist/antagonist drugs and have led to undesirable side effects within the central nervous system. Nearly four decades ago, a handful of groups began to explore the possibility of utilizing an individual’s own immune machinery to counteract the effects of drug exposure in an approach later termed as Immunopharmacotherapy, which aims to use highly specific antibodies to sequester the drug of interest while the latter is still in the bloodstream .Anti-addiction antibodies have the potential to save lives and reduce the crippling effects of drug abuse. While they are not expected to be the magic bullet to immediately cure addiction, immunotherapy could provide a breakthrough medication to continuously block or attenuate drug effects during a comprehensive addiction recovery plan. To meet this challenge, a new generation of passive monoclonal antibodies and active immunization therapies are at an advanced stage of preclinical development. In the present review a focused summary, of the current state of cocaine, nicotine, methamphetamine and opiate vaccines is presented as these programs have been the most successful to date.

Name: Bincy Babu M.Tech II Year
Venue: Room No.701(A)[Sixth Floor]
Date: 25.07.12