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Cocaine Intoxication


Cocaine intoxication is a medical emergency condition where the overdose of cocaine shows harmful effects on the body. The symptoms of cocaine intoxication are similar to the cocaine dependence. Cocaine is basically a powerful central nervous system stimulant that has potent cardiovascular side effects, if taken in overdose or prolongs time.

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The cocaine intoxication may be caused due to the prolong usage of this drug by the patient. This may also be caused due to bleeding into the lungs, or in case of fluids in the lungs. Those who are in a habit of crack cocaine smoking are also at high risk of cocaine intoxication. If a person swallows poorly packed cocaine the death is almost certain due to the rupture of the bag inside the body and releasing of large amount of cocaine in the body.

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Signs & Symptoms

Patient with cocaine intoxication may suffer from the following symptoms namely:-

  • The patient may complain of itching and hallucinations.
  • The patient may have enlarged pupils and may feel agitated or euphoria.
  • There may be paranoid delusions and tachycardia.
  • Sometimes an overdose of the drug may lead to tachyarrhythmias.
  • The patient may also complain of elevated blood pressure. This condition may prove to be fatal if the patient has existing cardiac problems.
  • The toxication may lead to seizure and respiratory and circulatory depression. This depression may happen in the medullar region of the chest.
  • The depression may cause stroke, heart failure, cerebral hemorrhage and ultimately death.
  • The patient may become hyperthermic and this may lead to muscle cell destruction.
  • This condition may lead to renal failure and myoglobinuria.
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There is no prevention for cocaine intoxication other than to keep the level of cocaine intake in control.

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Conservative Treatment Modern Medicine

The cocaine intoxication requires medical emergency treatment. Benzodiazepine such as diazepam is given initially to decrease the elevated heart rate and the associated blood pressure. The hyperthermia is controlled by ice or cold blanket or even paracetamol.

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