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Some People Produce Antibodies to Opioid Drugs, Study Finds

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Preliminary research out this week found that patients taking opioids for chronic pain can produce antibodies to the drugs, which could help explain some of the side-effects of long-term opioid use; these antibodies may also hamper efforts to create opioid vaccines, which scientists hope could treat opioid use disorder better than existing medications.

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Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Scripps Research Institute in California took blood samples from 19 volunteers who had been taking opioid painkillers for chronic lower back pain. They then screened these samples for antibodies to opioids, by exposing the blood to proteins that were bonded with the commonly used opioids hydrocodone and oxycodone. In 10 of these patients, they found opioid-specific antibodies. Those with a higher dosage of opioid therapy had higher levels of these antibodies, while three control patients who weren’t taking opioids for their pain had none to very low levels.

The findings were presented this week at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting. That means the results are based on preliminary data that hasn’t yet gone through peer review. The sample size of 19 patients is also very small, so these conclusions are far from settled science.

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But if true, the authors say, these antibodies could be part of the reason why people who take opioids can develop symptoms such as hyperalgesia, where a person’s sensitivity to pain becomes so extreme that even normally harmless sensations became painful. One theory that the researchers are exploring is that opioids from these drugs can bond to carbohydrates in the body, creating things called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These AGEs have been linked to chronic inflammatory conditions such as diabetes and clogged arteries, which also involve the immune system.

The authors also speculate that these native immune responses may decrease the effectiveness of potential vaccines for opioid use disorder. Some scientists, including the authors of the study, are hoping to create vaccines that can induce a temporary antibody response to the opioids we get from a prescription pill or illicit drug. The antibodies would cling to the molecules from these drugs when they enter the system, blocking them from getting into the brain and causing the effects associated with opioid abuse, such as an addictive euphoria. These vaccines, it’s theorized, would prevent craving symptoms better than other drugs now available, though they could be also used in conjunction with current medication-assisted therapy.

In the study, the volunteers produced IgM antibodies to opioids, which are short-term antibodies that usually last for a few weeks. But the vaccines these researchers and others are hoping to develop are trying to produce IgG antibodies, which typically last longer than IgM ones. The worry is that having this weaker native response will make it harder for the body to respond to the vaccine and produce a more effective antibody army.

Opioid vaccines aren’t universally seen as a good idea, with some harm reduction advocates arguing that the resources needed to develop them should be used to support other measures for helping people struggling with drug use, such as providing affordable housing and greater access to existing treatments. But if the authors are right, then even getting to the point where a vaccine for opioid abuse is effective will be harder than expected. Previous attempts to create vaccines for nicotine and cocaine dependence have also failed, though for different reasons.

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“In order to confirm these results and help us understand who might be good vaccine candidates, we need to find a larger cohort of individuals, track their opiate use history, and figure out if this is a useful biomarker for subsequent vaccine protection against overdose and for clinical outcomes like hyperalgesia,” said study author Cody Wenthur, a professor in the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy, in a statement released by the university.

By studying these antibodies now, the researchers hope to better understand how to develop their vaccines moving forward.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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