Pathophysiology of cocaine abuse

Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2002 Jun;19(6):395-414. doi: 10.1017/s0265021502000650.


Cocaine abuse is increasing, particularly among young people. It is no longer a drug used exclusively by higher socio-economic groups. This review highlights the dangers of both acute and chronic cocaine abuse and its lethal potential even on the first encounter. The systemic effects of cocaine are described along with the possible pathology that may present itself to the attending clinician.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Cocaine / adverse effects
  • Cocaine / history
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / complications
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Digestive System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Heart / drug effects
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced
  • Pregnancy


  • Cocaine