Navigation Links
New treatment effective in counteracting cocaine-induced symptoms

DALLAS Aug. 13, 2007 UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have discovered a treatment that counteracts the effects of cocaine on the human cardiovascular system, including lowering the elevated heart rate and blood pressure often found in cocaine users.

We have found that cocaines effects on the cardiovascular system can be reversed by the use of a drug called dexmedetomidine, which is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for anesthetic purposes in operating rooms or intensive care units, said Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, associate professor of internal medicine and senior author of a study appearing in the Aug. 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers used dexmedetomidine to test whether cocaines effect on the cardiovascular system could be muted. They found that the drug was effective in reversing the actions of cocaine on heart rate, blood pressure and vascular resistance in the skin by interfering with the ability of cocaine to increase nerve activity.

Typically, patients with cocaine overdoses in the emergency room are treated with nitroglycerin, sedatives such as Valium, and some blood-pressure medications such as calcium channel blockers and some beta blockers, Dr. Vongpatanasin said. However, the standard treatments dont alleviate all of the adverse effects of cocaine on the heart, blood pressure and central nervous system.

The study examined results from 22 healthy adults who reported to have never used cocaine. The investigators administered a small, medically approved dose of cocaine nose drops to the study participants, which doubled their sympathetic nerve activity, part of the bodys automatic response system that becomes more active during times of stress. Participants experienced increases in several cardiovascular parameters including heart rate, blood pressure and resistance to blood flow in the skin.

Microelectrodes, similar to acupuncture needles, were used to record sympathetic nerve activity following doses of intranasal cocaine.

Research subjects who were treated with dexmedetomidine had a decrease in sympathetic nerve activity as well as in all three cardiovascular parameters, which returned to baseline levels measured before administration of cocaine. Dexmedetomidine proved to be more effective than intravenous saline, which was used as a placebo in another group of study participants.

Cocaine abuse in the U.S. is widespread, with nearly 35 million Americans reporting having ever tried cocaine and an estimated 7.3 million users, including 15 percent of young adults ages 18 to 25, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Life-threatening emergencies related to cocaine use include sudden cardiac death, high blood pressure, stroke and acute myocardial infarctions.

We also found that dexmedetomidine was equally effective in counteracting effects of cocaine in subjects with a rare genetic mutation thought to disrupt the effects of dexmedetomidine, said Dr. Ronald Victor, professor of internal medicine and co-author of the study. Because this particular mutation is more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians, our study results are applicable to a more diverse, multiethnic population. Further research is needed, study authors said, to determine whether the treatment would be effective for acute cocaine overdose in the emergency room and to gauge whether it would be effective in reversing cocaine-induced constriction of the coronary vessels to the same degree it does in skin vessels.

Contact: Katherine Morales
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. Advances in Treatment of Cataracts
2. Recommendations for Treatment of Blood Pressue
3. Thyroid hormone treatment hastens recovery after cardiac surgery
4. Feeding channel created by malaria parasite - a new target for malaria treatments
5. Now umbilical cord helps in stroke treatment.
6. Now AIDS treatment comes dirt-cheap
7. Breast cancer treatment to be determined by gene test
8. Hemopurifier may revolutionise AIDS treatment
9. New drug helps boost cancer treatment
10. Antidepressants come in handy for patients on treatment for hepatitis, cancers and multiple sclerosis
11. Experimental treatment for Ebola Virus Shows promising results in mice
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... The Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health (FBPH)—a ... with the award-winning creator and writer of Downton Abbey Julian Fellowes to host ... Union League of Philadelphia. , The benefit, titled “An Evening with Julian ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Specialty Ingredients (ASI) as their exclusive channel partner for the Nutraceutical Specialties products ... markets in the US, effective immediately. , “We are pleased to announce ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... California-based i2i Systems, a ... today that Michigan-based Family Health Center (FHC) has selected i2iTracks as their population ... was awarded the largest Affordable Care Act grant for Federally Qualified Health Centers ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... quality of life in the womb. "My last baby had high blood pressure due ... way for mothers to protect their babies from noise pollution as well as radio ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... In an interview with Andy ... a top ophthalmologist on Long Island’s east end. During the broadcast, entitled “Eyes: the ... and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts, and how a visit with his grandmother to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... KIRKLAND, Wash. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of Post-Processing services, is pleased to announce a ... of medical imaging services. Building on its ISO-9001:2008 ... adopted and implemented comprehensive Core Lab protocols and ... wide variety of research activities.  Their Core Lab ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Mexico Healthcare and Life Sciences ... Report 2015 . --> Pharmaboardroom releases its new 98-page ... Latin America , a country of over 122 million ... of over 122 million people. --> It offers companies, ... life sciences insights into the second largest pharma and healthcare market ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 Elbit ... the "Company") announced today that it was informed by InSightec ... Drug Safety (MFDS) has approved its Exablate Neuro system ... --> --> Insightec,s Exablate Neuro ... alternative that combines two technologies: Focused Ultrasound, which is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: