Development of active and passive human vaccines to treat methamphetamine addiction

Hum Vaccin. 2009 Apr;5(4):206-13. doi: 10.4161/hv.5.4.7456. Epub 2009 Apr 20.


Methamphetamine (METH) abuse is a major worldwide epidemic, with no specific medications for treatment of chronic or acute effects. Anti-METH antibodies have the potential to save lives and reduce the crippling effects of METH 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 METH effects during a comprehensive addiction recovery plan. A unique challenge for METH antibody antagonists is the need to protect the brain from the complex direct and indirect adverse effects of long-term METH use. To meet this challenge, a new generation of passive monoclonal antibodies and active immunization therapies are at an advanced stage of preclinical development. Both of these vaccines could play an essential role in a well planned recovery program from human METH addiction by providing long-lasting protection from the rewarding and reinforcing effect of METH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive / methods
  • Methamphetamine / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Methamphetamine / immunology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Vaccination / methods
  • Vaccines, Conjugate / immunology


  • Antibodies
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Vaccines, Conjugate
  • Methamphetamine