Experience with esmolol for the treatment of cocaine-associated cardiovascular complications

I. Charles Sand, Steven L. Brody, Keith D. Wrenn, Corey M. Slovis

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67 Scopus citations


The authors report their experience using esmolol, an ultra-short acting β-adrenergic antagonist, for the treatment of seven patients with cocaine-associated cardiovascular complications. No consistent hemodynamic benefit was found with the use of this drug. Although there was a decline in mean heart rate of 23% (range 0% to 35%), they were unable to show a consistent antihypertensive response. Adverse effects occurred in three patients. This included one patient with a marked exacerbation of hypertension and one who became hypotensive. Another patient developed emesis and lethargy during esmolol therapy and required endotracheal intubation. They do not recommend the routine use of esmolol for cocaine cardiotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-163
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1991


  • cocaine
  • esmolol
  • hypertension
  • overdose
  • supraventricular tachycardia
  • β-blocker


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