Cocaine vaccine for the treatment of cocaine dependence in methadone-maintained patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy trial.


CONTEXT Cocaine dependence, which affects 2.5 million Americans annually, has no US Food and Drug Administration-approved pharmacotherapy. OBJECTIVES To evaluate the immunogenicity, safety, and efficacy of a novel cocaine vaccine to treat cocaine dependence. DESIGN A 24-week, phase 2b, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with efficacy assessed during weeks 8 to 20 and follow-up to week 24. SETTING Cocaine- and opioid-dependent persons recruited from October 2003 to April 2005 from greater New Haven, Connecticut. PARTICIPANTS One hundred fifteen methadone-maintained subjects (67% male, 87% white, aged 18-46 years) were randomized to vaccine or placebo, and 94 subjects (82%) completed the trial. Most smoked crack cocaine along with using marijuana (18%), alcohol (10%), and nonprescription opioids (44%). INTERVENTION Over 12 weeks, 109 of 115 subjects received 5 vaccinations of placebo or succinylnorcocaine linked to recombinant cholera toxin B-subunit protein. Main Outcome Measure Semiquantitative urinary cocaine metabolite levels measured thrice weekly with a positive cutoff of 300 ng/mL. RESULTS The 21 vaccinated subjects (38%) who attained serum IgG anticocaine antibody levels of 43 microg/mL or higher (ie, high IgG level) had significantly more cocaine-free urine samples than those with levels less than 43 microg/mL (ie, low IgG level) and the placebo-receiving subjects during weeks 9 to 16 (45% vs 35% cocaine-free urine samples, respectively). The proportion of subjects having a 50% reduction in cocaine use was significantly greater in the subjects with a high IgG level than in subjects with a low IgG level (53% of subjects vs 23% of subjects, respectively) (P = .048). The most common adverse effects were injection site induration and tenderness. There were no treatment-related serious adverse events, withdrawals, or deaths. CONCLUSIONS Attaining high (>or=43 microg/mL) IgG anticocaine antibody levels was associated with significantly reduced cocaine use, but only 38% of the vaccinated subjects attained these IgG levels and they had only 2 months of adequate cocaine blockade. Thus, we need improved vaccines and boosters. Trial Registration Identifier: NCT00142857.

DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.128

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@article{Martell2009CocaineVF, title={Cocaine vaccine for the treatment of cocaine dependence in methadone-maintained patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy trial.}, author={Bridget A Martell and Frank M. Orson and James C Poling and Ellen Sullivan Mitchell and Roger D . Rossen and Tracie J. Gardner and Thomas R. Kosten}, journal={Archives of general psychiatry}, year={2009}, volume={66 10}, pages={1116-23} }