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Scientists Create First Effective Long-Term Treatment For Cocaine Addiction

Update Date: Dec 31, 2015 09:31 AM EST

Cocaine addicts have never had any remedial measures. But now, scientists from the University of Kentucky have made a new compound to prevent the users of the chemical from going into the "high" that creates the addiction. Still it can last long enough in the body to be useful as a long-term treatment, says a news release.

Cocaine is the only US drug without a long-term preventive treatment in spite of scientific efforts over the years. Now, scientists have taken advantage of cocaine hydrolase enzymes which have repeatedly been said to benefit the users of cocaine.

Yet, while earlier studies did not remain in the body for long, the current study "attached human immunoglobulin G antibodies to the cocaine hydrolase enzyme" taking advantage of their ability to remain in the body for longer durations.

The study was useful, as scientists learnt that the new compound that was composed of "cocaine hydrolase and human immunoglobulin G antibodies" tended to remain in rats for almost 107 hours. On the other hand, cocaine hydrolase alone stayed in the body for just eight hours.

Moreover, apart from blocking the cocaine "high," just one dose of the compound also prevented rats from being exposed to "lethal overdoses".

The compound breaks down cocaine metabolites, which stops rats from feeling it for 20 days.

Yet, it would have to be administered to humans once after every two to four weeks in order to be effective and requires a lot of studies before it can be said to have worked.

The study was published in the Nov. 30 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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