Immunopharmacotherapeutic advancements in addressing methamphetamine abuse
Methamphetamine (METH) is an illicit psychostimulant that is known to account for substance abuse disorders globally, second only to opioids, yet has no approved pharmacotherapies. Traditional therapies employ small molecule agonists or antagonists for substance use disorders or overdose reversal by targeting drug-specific receptors in the brain. However, the comprehensive mechanism of METH on multiple sites within the central nervous system (CNS) implies its receptors lack the high affinity and specificity required for an “ideal” drug target. The alternative to pharmacotherapies is to sequester abused drugs in the periphery, effectively eliminating the effects from CNS receptor occupation through pharmacokinetic antagonism. This review presents updates on immunopharmacotherapeutic advancements in addressing methamphetamine abuse by focusing on the cultivation of research optimization strategies regarding hapten chemistry, carrier proteins, and adjuvants implemented in active immunization. Furthermore, we discuss necessary developments for each component of active immunopharmacotherapies and the future of active vaccines in treating METH use disorder.