Development of a therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of cocaine addiction

Drug Alcohol Depend. 1997 Dec 15;48(3):153-8. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(97)00121-x.


No pharmacotherapies have yet been approved for the treatment of cocaine addiction. One new approach is to block the effects of cocaine with anti-cocaine antibodies induced by a therapeutic cocaine vaccine. A cocaine vaccine has been developed which induces a cocaine-specific antibody response in rodents. The antibody binds to cocaine in the circulation and can be shown to inhibit the ability of cocaine to enter the brain. Furthermore, anti-cocaine antibody can inhibit cocaine self-administration in rats. These data suggest that a cocaine vaccine may be a powerful therapeutic tool. The intent is to immunized motivated patients with the vaccine as part of a comprehensive treatment program. If the patient uses cocaine after being vaccinated, the antibody will inhibit the reinforcing activity of cocaine and decrease the likelihood of relapse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / pharmacology
  • Behavior, Addictive / drug therapy
  • Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Carrier Proteins / pharmacology
  • Cocaine / administration & dosage
  • Cocaine / blood
  • Cocaine / immunology*
  • Cocaine / pharmacokinetics
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Self Medication
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / pharmacology
  • Vaccines / pharmacology*


  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Vaccines
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine
  • Cocaine