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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > Heart -

Drug curbs BP boost from cocaine, methamphetamine

HeartJul 06, 05

A calcium channel blocker, isradipine, reduces the dangerous rise in blood pressure (BP) caused by taking cocaine or methamphetamine, according to researchers.

“Both cocaine and methamphetamine have powerful effects on blood pressure that are associated with strokes and heart failure,” Dr. Bankole A. Johnson, of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, told Reuters Health.

“Importantly,” he added, isradipine reduces these effects, “thereby lowering the risk of heart failure and stroke in cocaine or methamphetamine addicts.”

The medication might be used in treatment “designed to limit the harm of these drugs in chronically addicted individuals.”

In the June issue of the American Journal of Hypertension, Dr. Johnson and colleagues describe their study involving 12 cocaine-dependent and 19 methamphetamine-dependent individuals.

“Contrary to previous opinion, the deleterious effects on blood pressure for methamphetamine and cocaine are the same,” Johnson pointed out. Both drugs rapidly raised blood pressure with peak responses seen within 1 to 3 minutes.

Isradipine significantly reduced these increases in blood pressure. However, the investigators found, it “tended to enhance the effects of these drugs on heart rate.”

Summing up, Johnson said that “further work is needed to determine the effectiveness of isradipine treatment in emergency rooms when addicted individuals present with dangerously high blood pressure due to the use of methamphetamine or cocaine.”

SOURCE: American Journal of Hypertension, June 2005.

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