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Am J Emerg Med. 1991 Mar;9(2):161-3.

Experience with esmolol for the treatment of cocaine-associated cardiovascular complications.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30303.


The authors report their experience using esmolol, an ultra-short acting beta-adrenergic antagonist, for the treatment of seven patients with cocaine-associated cardiovascular complications. No consistent hemodynamic benefit was found with the use of this drug. Although there was a decline in mean heart rate of 23% (range 0% to 35%), they were unable to show a consistent antihypertensive response. Adverse effects occurred in three patients. This included one patient with a marked exacerbation of hypertension and one who became hypotensive. Another patient developed emesis and lethargy during esmolol therapy and required endotracheal intubation. They do not recommend the routine use of esmolol for cocaine cardiotoxicity.

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