Comparative lethality of coca and cocaine

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1982 Nov;17(5):1087-8. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(82)90499-3.


The 24 hour lethal effects of cocaine were compared to those of a crude ethanol extract of the coca leaf (Erthroxylon coca) in male, Swiss mice. Various doses of cocaine HCl and coca leaf extracts suspended in a Tween 60, Arlacel 83, and distilled water vehicle were injected IP into groups of 10 mice. The LD50 for cocaine was 95.1 mg/kg. The LD50 for the coca extract was 3450 mg/kg. The LD50 of the extract based on its cocaine content was 31.4 mg/kg. The results clearly indicate that the coca leaf contains constituents other than cocaine that can contribute to a toxic effect of the plant.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coca* / analysis
  • Cocaine / poisoning*
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Male
  • Muridae
  • Plants, Medicinal*


  • Cocaine