Cocaine intoxication

Crit Care Clin. 2012 Oct;28(4):517-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ccc.2012.07.003. Epub 2012 Aug 30.


Cocaine, a natural alkaloid derived from the coca plant, is one of the most commonly abused illicit drugs. Cocaine is commonly abused by inhalation, nasal insufflation, and intravenous injection, resulting in many adverse effects that ensue from local anesthetic, vasoconstrictive, sympathomimetic, psychoactive, and prothrombotic mechanisms. Cocaine can affect all body systems and the clinical presentation may primarily result from organ toxicity. Among the most severe complications are seizures, hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes, myocardial infarction, aortic dissection, rhabdomyolysis, mesenteric ischemia, acute renal injury and multiple organ failure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cocaine / pharmacology
  • Cocaine / poisoning*
  • Drug Overdose / complications
  • Drug Overdose / diagnosis*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / pharmacology
  • Illicit Drugs / poisoning*
  • Ischemia / chemically induced*
  • Ischemia / complications
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / therapy
  • Rhabdomyolysis / chemically induced
  • Rhabdomyolysis / drug therapy


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Cocaine