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Fentanyl Overdose Vaccine Could Be Game-Changing

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Fentanyl Overdose Vaccine Could Be Game-Changing

(CTN News) – University of Houston researchers have developed a vaccine that prevents fentanyl’s effects from reaching the brain, making it non-lethal.

A very serious problem plaguing society for years – opioid misuse – is likely to be significantly impacted by these findings.

“With our vaccine, anti-fentanyl antibodies are generated that bind to consumed and prevent it from entering the brain,” Colin Haile, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Houston, said in a press release.

Thousands of Americans have died as a result of fentanyl overdoses, and Haile’s comments came after the university published a study about a potential vaccine against the drug.

Scientists developed the vaccine to help people who are addicted to and are trying to quit, noting that the vaccine can both eliminate euphoric effects as well as fatal effects.

It will be easier to get back on the wagon of sobriety since there will be no euphoric effects,” Haile said.

In addition, the vaccine may benefit people accidentally exposed to fentanyl, such as police and first responders who have reported overdoses after responding to -related calls.

It was reported that the vaccine showed no adverse effects for rats in lab studies, opening the door to human trials soon.

After receiving the vaccine, patients could still be treated for pain with other opioids, as Haile pointed out that the vaccine is specifically designed for fentanyl.

The anti-fentanyl antibodies reacted specifically with a  derivative, not with other opioids, such as morphine. That means a vaccinated person could still be treated for pain with other opioids.

Recent years have seen  become one of the leading drivers of the U.S. opioid crisis, often mixed with other street drugs and potentially fatal in small amounts.

Therese Kosten, a Houston psychologist and fentanyl vaccine developer, called the vaccine a “game changer” for solving that problem.

The pharmacodynamics of fentanyl make it difficult for current medications to adequately treat it, and managing acute overdose with short-acting naloxone is not adequate because it is often necessary to administer multiple doses of naloxone to reverse its fatal effects,” said Kosten, the study’s senior author.

How does fentanyl make you feel?

How does it affect the body? Similar to other opioid analgesics,  produces effects such as: relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, urinary retention, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression.

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