Daily Dose: Investigational Fentanyl Vaccine

Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.


On November 15, 2022, we reviewed a study published in Pharmaceutics that analyzed the effects of a new vaccine targeting the synthetic opioid fentanyl in rats.

The study

Researchers expanded and confirmed findings from their previous study in mice that showed immunological and antinociception efficacy of the vaccine administered with the adjuvant dmLT.

The current study demonstrated the vaccine's ability to block fentanyl from entering the brain and that it blocked fentanyl-induced depression of physiologic measures associated with overdose, such as oxygen saturation and heart rate. There were no adverse side effects observed in the immunized rats involved in lab studies. Researchers stated that they expect minimal side effects in humans as 2 of the components of the vaccine formulation are found in commercial vaccines or have been assessed in multiple clinical trials and found to be safe and effective.

Clinical implications

"Our vaccine is able to generate antifentanyl antibodies that bind to the consumed fentanyl and prevent it from entering the brain, allowing it to be eliminated out of the body via the kidneys. Thus, the individual will not feel the euphoric effects and can ‘get back on the wagon’ to sobriety.”

Click here for the full study review.