Medical application {active compounds}

Cocaine is an alkaloid derivative of the coca plant, generally available in powder form which can be zero to 90% pure, and "rock" which is more common and generally 25% to 40% pure. Cocaine is often cut with other substances, such as lactose mannitol, or amphetamines. Cocaine is most often "snorted" and can also be smoked in its "crack" form.

Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that heightens alertness, inhibits appetite and the need for sleep, and provides intense feelings of pleasure. It was introduced as a tonic/elixir in patent medicines to treat a wide variety of real or imagined illnesses.

Local aesthetics block the transmission of pain or feeling impulses from nerves to the brain. At much higher levels, it can even block impulses so that breathing stops, or a coma can be produced. Local aesthetic effects at high, toxic levels, can produce seizures and can affect the heart causing cardiac arrest. (image source)

Cocaine is a central nervous stimulant. Stimulants mimic the action of chemicals your brain produces to send messages of pleasure to your brain's reward center. Like adrenaline, cocaine increases your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate. Cocaine also constricts blood vessels, dilates pupils, releases sugar and fat into your blood stream, and energizes the brain to increased alertness. Stimulants like cocaine increase feelings of anger or fear, or agitation (fight or flight) and feelings of well-being, riding high, exhilaration or euphoria. Euphoria is gradually displaced by restlessness, extreme excitability, insomnia, and paranoia - and eventually hallucinations and delusions. These conditions, clinically identical to amphetamine psychosis, and very similar to paranoid schizophrenia, disappear rapidly in most cases after cocaine is ended. When the stimulation goes to high, it produces feelings of panic, paranoia, hallucinations and rage which can progress to potentially fatal seizures and stroke. Ultimately, the brain becomes depressed by the local aesthetic effects, and coma and death can occur.

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