Pregnancy increases cardiovascular toxicity to cocaine

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Feb;162(2):529-33. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(90)90424-6.


The effects of intravenous cocaine on heart rate and blood pressure were studied in pregnant and oophorectomized nonpregnant ewes. In response to intravenous cocaine doses of 1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg, both pregnant and nonpregnant ewes demonstrated dose-dependent increases in systolic, diastolic, mean arterial, and pulse pressures with return to baseline by 30 to 60 minutes after cocaine administration. However, at both doses (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg) pregnant ewes demonstrated greater increases in mean arterial pressure (+29.6%, +48.7%) than nonpregnant ewes (+15.6%, +27.7%) during the first 5 minutes after cocaine administration. Thereafter the responses were similar. Thus pregnancy increases the cardiovascular toxicity to cocaine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Body Weight
  • Cocaine / metabolism
  • Cocaine / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal / physiology*
  • Progesterone / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Adrenergic / drug effects
  • Sheep


  • Receptors, Adrenergic
  • Progesterone
  • Cocaine

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