ALBERTO BENCHIMOL, M.D., F.A.C.P.; HAIM BARTALL, M.D.; KENNETH B. DESSER, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Cocaine has the peculiar quality of being both a local anesthetic and a sympathomimetic agent with powerful central nervous-system stimulant effects. In small doses cocaine can slow the heart rate, but larger amounts produce an increased heart rate and elevation of blood pressure. The latter effects are presumably mediated by the
influence of this drug on the central and peripheral sympathetic nervous system. Extremely high doses can have a direct toxic action on heart muscle, thereby resulting in cardiac arrest.
We describe here a patient with accelerated ventricular rhythm arising as a consequence of cocaine abuse. To our knowledge this
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BENCHIMOL A, BARTALL H, DESSER KB. Accelerated Ventricular Rhythm and Cocaine Abuse. Ann Intern Med. 1978;88:519–520. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-88-4-519
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(4):519-520.
Cardiology, Rhythm Disorders and Devices, Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Substance Abuse.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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