Call it a solution to drinking habit, a vaccine mainly for alcoholics whose drinking habit has refused to go away has been developed by a research team from the Cell Dynamics and Biotechnology Department of the University of Chile.
The team led by the director of the Department, Dr. Juan Asenjo said the new vaccine for alcoholics induces a hangover the moment any alcohol is introduced into their system, as naturally alcoholics do not like to experience hangover given the pain and discomfort they experience.
Although, the new vaccine is seen as a way of kicking the habit of alcohol consumption by alcoholics, it could also be better used as an on-going deterrent rather than a way of stopping alcoholics from drinking in the first place because the effects of alcohol withdrawal may be much worse than having a bad hangover.
Hangover is usually caused by the compound acetaldehyde, and it is produced by the liver when dealing with alcohol before it is broken down and metabolised by an enzyme.
The vaccine stops the enzyme doing its job, resulting in the person very quickly feeling sick and uncomfortable, as if they have a hangover. Further drinking will just make the feeling worse or at least prolong it.
Administering the vaccine can be done with a single injection, which is then active for between 6 to 12 months. It won’t be tested on human subjects until November this year, and that’s pending a trial on mice in the coming months to determine the right dose of the vaccine. If successful, the vaccine could be introduced into the market by 2015.
Alcohol withdrawal can be a difficult process to go through depending on how reliant an individual is on it.