Pain is a common symptom in patients with opioid use disorder (OUD), which increases synthetic and illicit synthetic opioid abuse and even fatalities due to opioid overdose. Many FDA-approved drugs are available for the treatment of OUD, however, the use of these medications is limited, mainly due to the development of various side effects. Active vaccination is a new therapeutic approach but the resulting antibodies may compromise the use and efficiency of opioid and non-opioid drugs. In this study, we evaluated whether the antibodies produced by the morphine/heroin vaccine (M-TT) would alter the antinociceptive effects of opioid and non-opioid drugs. Female Balb-c mice were immunized with the M-TT vaccine. A solid-phase antibody-capture ELISA was used for monitoring antibody titer responses after each booster dose in vaccinated animals, followed by tail-flick testing. This study found that the M-TT vaccine did not affect the antinociception induced by different doses of morphine or the ability of non-opioid and synthetic opioid drugs to decrease thermal pain. Moreover, the combination of vaccination and naloxone increased the time-course of morphine antagonism relative to either vaccination or naloxone alone. These results suggest that the antibody titers generated by the M-TT vaccine 1) are capable of reducing morphine-induced antinociception and 2) are selective enough not to alter antinociception induced by non-opioid or synthetic drugs. These characteristics support its potential as a treatment agent for patients with symptoms of pain comorbid to OUD.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.