University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have made a significant discovery regarding back-pain patients on opioid painkillers, finding that a majority of these patients produced anti-opioid antibodies. The presence of these antibodies might contribute to the negative side effects of prolonged opioid use and could potentially hinder the effectiveness of an anti-opioid vaccine, which researchers aim to develop. Led by Cody Wenthur from the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy, the team found that higher opioid doses correlated with a stronger antibody response in chronic back-pain patients. Notably, patients not taking opioids for their back pain exhibited very low levels of these anti-opioid antibodies. The research, presented at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 virtual meeting, is part of ongoing efforts to better understand immune reactions in combating opioid abuse and to identify potential candidates who could benefit from an anti-opioid vaccine in an effort to improve substance use disorder treatment.
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Categories: Opiate Compliance