A press release just in from the American Chemical Society describes how scientists 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.
Treweek, J., & Janda, K. (2012). An Antidote for Acute Cocaine Toxicity Molecular Pharmaceutics, 9 (4), 969-978 DOI: 10.1021/mp200588v