Vaccines against drug abuse

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Jan;91(1):60-70. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2011.281. Epub 2011 Nov 30.


The currently available medications for the treatment of drug abuse have had only limited success. Anti-addiction vaccines, aimed at eliciting antibodies that block the pharmacological effects of drugs, have great potential for treating drug abuse. We review the status of two vaccines that are undergoing clinical trials (for cocaine and nicotine addiction) and two that are still in preclinical development (for methamphetamine and heroin addiction). We also outline the challenges and ethical concerns associated with the development of anti-addiction vaccines and their use as future therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Addictive / immunology
  • Behavior, Addictive / metabolism
  • Behavior, Addictive / prevention & control*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / immunology
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / metabolism
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Substance-Related Disorders / immunology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / metabolism
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines / immunology
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Vaccines