The University of Nebraska Medical center is one of 20 centers around the country that will involve one-thousand people in NickVax, a vaccine that could help people stop smoking. Nurse Practitioner Mary Carlson is working on this project and says this is a different way of treating nicotine addiction and is given by vaccine.
“Has a nicotine molecule that attached to a protein. The antibodies pick up the molecules of nicotine and don’t allow them to cross the blood brain barrier, the nicotine going to the brain, the receptors where you get the pleasures of smoking so this decreases your pleasure in smoking.”
Carlson says the UNMC study will involve up to 50 volunteers where they will visit the Medical Center to receive the series of vaccine and for counseling sessions.
“50% of the people will get the vaccine and 50-percent will get the placebo. We know that approximately 15 to 18 percent of people can quit smoking using counseling alone so even if they are getting a placebo, they are getting a tool to stop smoking.”
Carlson says there are six shots in the series.
“The vaccine is given two weeks after the screening. Then the vaccine is given once a month, four more times and the last one a two month break between and that is like given a booster.”
Reports show the vaccine also helps to eliminate many of the typical withdraw symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, weight gain and depression. Volunteers are needed so if you want to sign up, contact UNMC.