Researchers closer to a shot that kicks nicotine addiction
Nabi Biopharmaceuticals has been awarded a $10 million grant by The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); the money will help the company in the final phases of its research into a possible anti-nicotine vaccine. The Rockville, Maryland-based research firm will launch a phase III study of a potential vaccine called NicVAX, which is designed to help habitual smokers quit. The study represents the most advanced investigation of any smoking-cessation vaccine, and appears to be in its last steps of research. According to researchers, the anti-nicotine vaccine is designed to help individuals quit smoking without relapsing.
The vaccine is designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to act when it detects nicotine. The immune defense cells will bond to nicotine molecules and prevent them from entering the brain, decreasing the high that smokers crave. While results remain preliminary, the researchers suggest that smokers who develop high levels of immune antibodies are likely to quit for good. The vaccine should be effective for six-to-12 months after it’s administered.
Every time a person smokes, he or she inhales more than 4,000 different chemicals, including nicotine. Nicotine, an extremely addictive substance, increases levels of the brain chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. It acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system, increasing blood pressure and heart rate when ingested. These, and other metabolic changes, create a pleasurable sensation for the smoker. Withdrawal symptoms of nicotine include irritability, frustration, anger, anxiety, restlessness – and an intense craving for nicotine. Tobacco use is linked to 400,000 deaths each year in the U.S.
For the sake of all smokers who have quit without success. I hope this works.
– Anthony Isaac Palacios