Drug addiction is one of the most important health problems in the world. This psychiatry disease results in the death of about 500 000 individuals annually in the world. Despite this scenario, the development of effective drug therapies against this disease has been slow and not very successful. In recent years, new alternative pharmacological strategies against drug addiction have been designed and validated. Among them are vaccines against drugs like nicotine, morphine or cocaine and their subsequent use in immunotherapeutic pharmacological procedures for the treatment of addictive behaviors of drug consumption, both in animal models and in humans. These strategies are based on the experimental design and synthesis of various structural formulations of therapeutic vaccines against drugs of abuse. When dosed in active immunization schedules, they induce the production of specific antibodies, which recognize and bind these substances in the intravascular space and prevent the drug permeability through the blood brain barrier, resulting in decreased effects of drugs into the brain. In 2006, our research group at the National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz (INPRFM) achieved and consolidated the design, synthesis, application and validation of immunoprotective therapeutic effects against relapse to morphine/heroin addiction in a rodent animal model, a model vaccine for potential human use against addiction to morphine/heroin. This model shows immunogenic capacities (high and sustained titers of highly specific antibodies) and immunoprotection (attenuates the effect up to 15mg/kg sc morphine) that the structural vaccine models competing have not been matched, which makes it the leading vaccine model against the addictive effects of heroin and morphine.
- Active and passive immunization