Cocaine Antidote

A press release just in from the American Chemical Society describes how wcientists are reporting development and successful testing in laboratory mice of a “cocaine antidote”. The substance and its effects are described in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics. The researchers refer to it as a “passive vaccine”, which apparently reverses the motor impairment, seizures and other dangerous symptoms of cocaine overdose.

Cocaine (benzoylmethylecgonine) is a tropane alkaloid obtained from the leaves of the coca plant as a colourless crystalline substance. The name derives from “coca” to which is added the suffix -ine representing alkaloids chemical speaking. Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant, appetite suppressant, and a topical anaesthetic. It is more specifically a serotonin–norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor (also known as a triple reuptake inhibitor) and is commonly used as a drug of abuse. It mediates functionality of those three neurotransmitters affecting the mesolimbic reward pathway in the brain.

Research Blogging IconTreweek, J., & Janda, K. (2012). An Antidote for Acute Cocaine Toxicity Molecular Pharmaceutics, 9 (4), 969-978 DOI: 10.1021/mp200588v

It looks like the paper went online at the beginning of March, presumably the press release is associated with the now-irrelevant print publication date.

This article has been reproduced from Sciencebase Science News. Copyright David Bradley.

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About David Bradley Science Writer

David Bradley has worked in science communication for more than twenty years. After reading chemistry at university, he worked and travelled in the USA, did a stint in a QA/QC lab and then took on a role as a technical editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry. Then, following an extended trip to Australia, he returned and began contributing as a freelance to the likes of New Scientist and various trade magazines. He has been growing his portfolio and and has constructed the Sciencebase Science News and the Sciencetext technology website. He also runs the SciScoop Science Forum which is open to guest contributors on scientific topics.
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