Concurrent cocaine-ethanol ingestion in humans: pharmacology, physiology, behavior, and the role of cocaethylene

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1993;111(1):39-46. doi: 10.1007/BF02257405.


Simultaneous abuse of cocaine and ethanol is a common occurrence. Cocaethylene, the ethyl ester of benzoylecgonine, has been detected in the urine of patients reporting concurrent use of cocaine and ethanol, and high levels have been found in the blood of victims of fatal drug overdose. This placebo-controlled, double-blind study examined the pharmacokinetic, physiologic, and behavioral effects of dual cocaine and ethanol administration in humans (n = 6). Cocaethylene was found in the plasma only after administration of both cocaine and ethanol, and appeared to be eliminated more slowly than cocaine. Plasma cocaine concentrations were significantly higher during cocaine/ethanol administration. Euphorigenic effects were both enhanced and prolonged, and heart rate was significantly increased, following cocaine/ethanol administration as compared to administration of cocaine or ethanol alone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects
  • Behavior / drug effects*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cocaine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cocaine / blood
  • Cocaine / pharmacology
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / blood*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Interactions
  • Ethanol / blood
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Euphoria / drug effects
  • Half-Life
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Ethanol
  • cocaethylene
  • Cocaine