New jab sparks immediate hangover

Would a sudden hangover turn you off alcohol?Photo / Thinkstock
Would a sudden hangover turn you off alcohol?Photo / Thinkstock

A new experimental jab that aims to cure alcoholism will give anyone who's had the vaccine an immediate and head-splitting hangover with just one sip of booze.

According to the Daily Mail, scientists from the University of Chile have spent a year developing the drug.

The shot is effective for about six-months and works but speeding up the hangover process. It sends a biochemical message to the liver to stop it from processing alcohol.

When a person who's had the shot tries to have a sip of booze they immediately feel severe nausea, accelerated heartbeat and general discomfort, the Daily Mail reports.

The jab aims to get alcoholics not to associate booze with anything fun or free.

Preclinical trails on mice to find the correct dosage on mice begin next month.

Researchers hope to begin human trials later this year.

Dr Juan Asenjo, director of the Institute for Cell Dynamics and Biotechnology at the Universidad de Chile said while the vaccine is not a cure-all, it could provide an important first step.

"People who end up alcoholic have a social problem; a personality problem because they're shy, whatever, and then they are depressed, so it's not so simple," he told the Santiago Times.

"But if we can solve the chemical, the basic part of the problem, I think it could help quite a bit.

Dr Asenjo believes the vaccine has the potential to help millions of people worldwide.

"If it works, it's going to have a worldwide impact, but with many vaccines one has to test them carefully. I think the chances that this one will work are quite high."

Inspiration for the vaccine came from the far East, said Dr Asenjo, where between 15 and 20 per cent of Japanese, Chinese or Koreans have a mutation which inhibits the breakdown of alcohol in their bodies.

The idea of using drugs to combat alcoholism is not new.

Disulfiram, which was developed almost a century ago works in a similar way blocking the enzyme from breaking down alcohol, thus intensifying the body's negative response.

However users often find the effects so unpleasant they simply stop taking the pills.

- www.nzherald.co.nz

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