Alcohol vaccine?

This may end up in GD since I won’t mind opinions on the matter, but first a factual question to start things off.

Last spring in Newsweek I read an article on drugs that can block absorption of certain drugs (alcohol, coke, etc) from crossing the blood/brain barrier. I asked my doc about it and all he said was somethiing about not being able to prescribe anything like that. I didn’t persue the matter after that, unfortunately.

So my question is this: Is there a drug, experimental or other, that has been shown to block alcohol absorption? Since my daughter was born I’ve decided I want to quit drinking. I thought of Antabuse, but it’s too easy to just skip the dose. The drug mentioned in the article is an injectableand lasts a month and blocks any buzz no matter how much you drink.

Opinions/facts from our resident MDs would be very very welcome, of course.

Thanks in advance.

You may be thinking of naltrexone. The once-a-month injection sounds like it.

Whatever you are considering, research suggests that some form of counseling is also a good idea. The best evidence so far is for motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Yes, I should have mentioned I knew that. I’m looking to augment therapy which hasn’t worked. Too easy to leave a meeting and get a quart. THe recovery rate for alcoholism is abysmally small. It seems anything that might help negate the thrill of the drink would help in the short and long term.

Off for another beer

Alcohol is a very small, amphipathic molecule that easily crosses cell membranes without needing a transport protein. There is some research being done on drugs that block the GABA receptor site that alcohol binds to, but it appears to be early research that is a long way from clinical application. Further, it is likely that it will have side effects like all other drugs we have managed to make which modulate the CNS.

This might not be GQ material, but I’ve observed that the popular press seem to grab on to any incremental scientific advance and portray it in such a way that makes it seem that a cure for x, y, or z is around the corner, when in fact it is many years away and far from certain.

OK, I looked up the drug at family doctor dot org.

Send this motherfucker to the Pit.

The doc referred me to an intense outpatient 12 week program with 8 week follow up care. I agreed to check it out. With the FDA APPROVED MEDICINE left on the table. No mention of prescribing it at any point. I was totally honest (rare for a drunk talking to a doctor) and told him about previous attempts at AODA, AA, outpatient care, etc.

I’m willing to do my part, again. All I’m asking is for some help that’s available.

I have excellent insurance, so my cynicism of this whole issue is somewhat muted, but it’s really dragging down my trust in doctors as a whole. Why the fuck won’t he at least let me try it? (Rhetorical)

Also, I had my G/F call and ask if he’d prescribe a 3 day dose of anything to get me through detox. (I am not doing inpatient, I’ve detoxed in jail with no ill effects.) He refused that.

Fuck I’m pissed now. Sorry. Like I said, just send this to the pit.

FWIW, here’s the link

If naltrexone diminishes the effect of alcohol, any determined drunk (like me) would simply drink more until the desired effect is achieved, no?

Does your doctor have experience treating alcoholism? It’s not unusual to find a family doctor unfamiliar with mental health/ substance abuse and need to see another doctor.

Good luck whatever path you find yourself on.

It’s certainly not a vaccine - but wouldn’t Antabuse help in negating the urge to drink?

It doesn’t block the effects of alcohol, but makes ingesting it extremely unpleasant.

Nope. I can skip the dose if I feel like drinking.

How long are its effects? Could you make it part of your morning routine, take a pill when you brush your teeth, sort of like a reflex, before you can say, “Boy, I feel like a bender today!”?

As an aside, I am also a very, very heavy drinker. I am able to stop for seemingly as long as I want, as long as a month in the past, but I still love it. I’m dreading a pregnancy - I’d have to quit and be “a responsible parent” too. I could, but I’d HATE it. My dad hid his drinking - I virtually never saw him tipsy, though I saw him drink a few beers a day. Apparently, though, he was quite the secret alcoholic. I wouldn’t be able to pull that off. I hope.