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J Clin Pharmacol. 1994 Sep;34(9):902-11.

Cocaine-related sudden cardiac death: a hypothesis correlating basic science and clinical observations.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Illinois, Chicago 60612.


Sudden, unexpected death due to cocaine in young otherwise healthy individuals occurs in an idiosyncratic manner and is commonly felt to be arrhythmogenic in nature, although the exact cause of death is rarely documented. In addition to indirect sympathomimetic actions, cocaine is a potent sodium channel blocking drug and, in this regard, most closely resembles agents such as flecainide. We suggest that sudden death due to cocaine is proarrhythmic in nature, occurring under similar circumstances as that due to specific antiarrhythmic drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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