The development of three promising formulations that could be used in a vaccine to treat methamphetamine addiction is being reported by scientists.
It is the topic of the latest episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) award-winning 'Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions' podcast series.
Kim Janda, Ph.D., and colleagues note that methamphetamine use and addiction cost the US more than 23 billion dollars annually due to medical and law enforcement expenses, as well as lost productivity.
The drug, also called "meth" or "crystal meth", can cause a variety of problems including cardiovascular damage and death. Meth is highly addictive, and users in conventional behavioural treatment programs often relapse.
Previously tested meth vaccines either are not effective or are very expensive.
To overcome these challenges, the researchers made and tested new vaccine formulations that could potentially be effective for long periods, which would drive down costs and help prevent relapse.
The group found that three of the new formulations that produced a good immune response in mice (stand-ins for humans in the lab) were particularly promising.
These findings represent a unique approach to the design of new vaccines against methamphetamine abuse, Janda stated.
The podcast is based on a study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.