Rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure associated with cocaine abuse

J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1990;28(3):321-30. doi: 10.3109/15563659008994433.


Cocaine abuse has emerged as a major public health problem among young adults. Illicit use of cocaine has been associated with an increasing array of medical complications. Both traumatic and nontraumatic rhabdomyolysis, often complicated by acute renal failure, has recently been described following cocaine abuse. The present report describes our experience with 15 such patients and serves to further define the spectrum of muscle injury associated with cocaine abuse ranging from the incidental finding of elevated serum levels of muscle enzymes to acute renal failure. Those patients who developed renal failure experienced more severe rhabdomyolysis in association with trauma, seizures or hyperpyrexia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium
  • Acidosis / etiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology*
  • Adult
  • Cocaine*
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Potassium / blood
  • Rhabdomyolysis / etiology*
  • Smoking
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*


  • Creatinine
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Cocaine
  • Potassium