Cocaine side effects consist of constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased body temperature, elevated heart rate, and higher than normal blood pressure. Some users of the drug have experienced jitters or even seizures while on cocaine. The side effects of snorting this drug often lead to nosebleeds, hoarseness, a persistently runny nose, and other associated problems. Users who inject the drug even once can succumb to severe allergic reactions, heart failure, and/or death. Frequent users of cocaine often experience agitation, depression, and insomnia. They may become increasingly paranoid, restless, and irritable. For some, these symptoms evolve into a mental illness that involves hallucinations and psychosis.
Cocaine side effects will often lead to heart problems that have serious and even fatal outcomes such as:
- Dilated cardiomyopathy - and enlarged heart
- Endocarditis - inflammation of the heart lining
- Heart attack, cardiac arrest, and sudden death
- Myocarditis - heart muscle damage leading to heart failure
- Pulmonary edema - fluid in the lungs
- Vascular thrombosis - clots in the coronary arteries
Cocaine addiction is the source of numerous cocaine side effects including chest pain, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, respiratory failure, heart problems, strokes, seizures, headaches, tremors, abdominal pain, and nausea. Those who smoke and/or inject the drug are in extreme danger of cocaine side effects. Smoking or injecting cocaine causes the drug to reach the user’s brain very quickly, leaving the liver no time to process the chemicals. The user’s body is left unprotected from any potential poisonous substances mixed with the drug. Because the effects of the drug are felt nearly instantaneously, the high from smoking or injecting cocaine is even more powerful than snorting the drug. Chronic users of cocaine can become malnourished due to the drug's ability to decrease appetite. All methods of taking this drug produce specific health related cocaine side effects:
•Ingesting: Severe bowel gangrene due to a reduction in the flow of blood to the intestines.
•Injecting: Severe allergic reactions. Increased risk for contracting HIV, Hepatitis, and other blood-borne diseases.
•Snorting: Chronically runny nose, nosebleeds, loss of smell, hoarseness, and problems swallowing.
Cocaine side effects are often exacerbated by the use of additional drugs. In fact, mixing cocaine with other substances makes use more likely to be fatal. The most common cause of death from cocaine overdose is respiratory failure. Respiratory failure is more common when a depressant drug such as heroin has been taken in addition to using cocaine. This combination is known as a speedball. Cocaine is also particularly dangerous when mixed with alcohol. Combining the two drugs creates a substance known as cocaethylene, which strengthens the high of cocaine and increases the risk of sudden death in the user.