New, Non-Addictive Drug Could Beat Depression | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

New, Non-Addictive Drug Could Beat Depression

Experts say bupe-based "ALKS 5461" could combat depression and anxiety disorders without getting us hooked. 

Image: 

Is ALKS 5461 the answer? Photo via

By Chrisanne Grise

08/29/12

| Share

A drug currently undergoing clinical trials may represent a vital breakthrough against major depression and anxiety disorders like PTSD and OCD. Crucially, "ALKS 5461" could offer the mood-enhancing and anxiety-lowering effects of opiates without leading to addiction. It's a combination of two molecules: buprenorphine and ALKS 33—which is there specifically to interfere with bupe’s ability to bind to receptors in the brain and make people feel euphoric and crave more. In a placebo-controlled study, ALKS 5461 was given to 32 patients with major depression; all of them responded positively within a week. The combo reportedly even worked for patients who'd had no luck with traditional antidepressants like Prozac and Effexor. “If ALKS 5461 comes to market (and I believe it will), then that scourge we call major depression will be dealt a massive blow,” writes psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow, who wasn't involved in the study. "It will still be imperative to use insight-oriented psychotherapy to get to the bottom of what unique psychological issues have fueled each person’s depression, but that should be easier—not harder—when folks aren’t struggling just to get out of bed and over to their psychiatrists’ offices.” It's not the first time scientists have tried to block the brain's addiction-related receptors; US and Australian researchers recently discovered how to block one specific receptor using plus-naloxone, while still allowing pain relief. ALKS 5461 is being developed by Alkermes Pharmaceuticals, the company behind anti-addiction drug Vivitrol.  

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Normies React to the 12 Steps

"I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy. .. I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn't help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance."

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv