Enhancement of Cocaine-Induced Lethality by Phenobarbital

  • M. A. Evans
  • C. Dwivedi
  • R. D. Harbison
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 21)


Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that produces intense excitation, euphoria, and restlessness in man. In laboratory animals the cortical action of cocaine is first manifested by an increase in well coordinated motor activity. As dosage is increased, the lower centers of the brain are progressively affected--producing tremors, convulsions, and, eventually, clonictonic convulsions. This central stimulation is followed by a progressive wave of depression beginning at the cortex and spreading downwards to the cerebrospinal axis (Ritchie and Chen, 1975). Lethality related to direct cardiac depression from cocaine overdose has been demonstrated within 2–3 minutes of intravenous administration; in 2–3 hours death due to respiratory paralysis associated with CNS depression has been observed (Casarett, 1975).


Liver Microsome Microsomal Protein Mixed Function Oxidase Swiss Webster Mouse Microsomal Metabolism 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Evans
    • 1
  • C. Dwivedi
    • 1
  • R. D. Harbison
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Center in ToxicologyVanderbilt Medical CenterNashvilleUSA

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