Technische Universität München

The Entrepreneurial University

Amphetamine abuse may lead to arterial hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, acute myocardial infarction, cardiogenic shock and sudden cardiac death.

Cocaine does not seem to affect athletic performance. However, its use causes myocardial ischemia and coronary artery thrombosis and myocardial infarction. These disorders are the result of vasoconstriction and stimulation of a-receptors, as well as of increased myocardial oxygen demand, decreased oxygen supply and ingressive thrombogenesis. Other cardiovascular side effects of cocaine use include infective endocarditis, ruptured aortic aneurysm, vascular thrombosis, coronary vasospasm, arterial hypertension and stroke. Moreover, cocaine may cause myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy. Chronic cocaine abuse leads to myofibrial necrosis, interstitial fibrosis and congestive heart failure. Cocaine abuse may cause prolonged QT and RR intervals and A-V conduction disorders. Sudden cardiac death may occur due to adrenergic overactivity and lethal arrhythmias.

Regarding ephedrines, there is evidence that they cause cardiac stimulation and an increase of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Other cardiovascular adverse effects are cardiac arrhythmias, acute myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death. Constriction of coronary arteries and vasospasm are thought to be the mechanisms of myocarditis and myocardial infarction after ephedrine administration. They may also cause ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.