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J R Soc Med. 1996 August; 89(8): 443–447.
PMCID: PMC1295885

Cocaine-associated myocardial infarction.


Myocardial ischaemia and infarction has become a well-recognized sequelae of cocaine use. The possibility of recent cocaine use should be assessed in patients with potential myocardial ischaemia because the treatment of patients with myocardial ischaemia related to cocaine differs from that of patients with myocardial ischaemia unrelated to cocaine. Patients with cocaine-associated myocardial ischaemia should receive initial treatment with benzodiazepines to decrease central adrenergic stimulation. Aspirin should be used to reduce thrombus formation, and nitroglycerin to reverse coronary vasoconstriction. Patients with continued ischaemia can be treated with either low doses of phentolamine, or verapamil. If ischaemia continues after treatment with these agents mechanical reperfusion or thrombolytic therapy should be considered depending upon the clinical circumstances. Patients with myocardial ischaemia secondary to cocaine should not receive treatment with beta adrenergic antagonists as these agents enhance coronary vasoconstriction thereby worsening ischaemia.

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Selected References

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