Join Together – January 6, 2010
A cocaine vaccine called TA-CD has shown promise for treating addiction to the drug, but some users respond by upping their cocaine intake in attempts to overcome the vaccine’s effect, the Washington Post reported Jan. 5.
TA-CD works by binding to cocaine molecules in the blood, making them too large to pass into the brain but doing nothing to address the brain’s craving for the drug. Even those study subjects who ingested large quantities of the drug had a “very disappointing experience,” and none overdosed, according to Baylor College of Medicine researcher Thomas R. Kosten, who led a study on the vaccine among individuals addicted to heroin and cocaine.
TA-CD cocaine antibodies stay active for eight to 10 weeks. Researchers found that subjects who administered the drug stayed off cocaine more than half the time once they had built up a high level of antibodies and immunity to the drug, compared to 23 percent of those who built up fewer antibodies and less immunity. About one in four vaccine recipients failed to develop sufficient antibodies to block the drug’s effects.
The study was published in the October 2009 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
This article summarizes an external report or press release on research published in a scientific journal. When available, links to the sources are provided above.