Cocaine Effects, Cocaine Side Effects

Harmful cocaine effects and cocaine side effects can be seen in all body organs. Cocaine effects are particularly seen in the brain and heart. Read more.

Cocaine effects can be seen in every organ in the body. Whatever form, powder cocaine, crack cocaine or freebase, cocaine has huge psychological, neurological and physiological effects. Not only are cocaine effects evident, but there are also many additional long-term effects of cocaine.

Cocaine Effects: Cocaine Effects on the Body

Effects of cocaine (read: What is cocaine? Cocaine Facts) can be seen in every organ and normal body function. Cocaine effects on the body include:1,2

  • Headaches, vertigo
  • Decreased appetite, weight loss
  • Diminished fatigue
  • Increased energy, activity and strength
  • Sense of power, exaggerated self-esteem and intellect
  • Decreased sensation of pain
  • Talkative, prone to laughter
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Teeth grinding
  • Cold sweats
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Overheating of body
  • Nasal irritation, stuffiness, facial pain
  • Decreases fertility and damage to an unborn fetus

Cocaine Effects: Cocaine Effects on the Brain

The cocaine effects that seem desirable are felt because cocaine moves from the blood into the brain and manipulates chemicals in the brain. These cocaine effects on the brain include many harmful cocaine side effects as well, including:

  • Alterations of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters
  • Seizures, tremors, muscle twitching
  • Neurological disorders like catatonia, visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Psychiatric disturbances like depression, suicidal ideation, paranoia, kleptomania, psychosis, mania, violent and antisocial behavior
  • Impulsivity including risky sexual behavior and risk of HIV
  • Overly emotional, irritability
  • Coma

Cocaine Effects: Cocaine Effects on the Heart

Cocaine is a stimulant, so cocaine effects on the heart typically include an increase in heart and blood activity; however, when the heart is overexerted or when cocaine is mixed with other drugs, the opposite cocaine effects can be seen.

  • Abnormal heart rate, heart disease, and other heart damage
  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Blood vessel narrowing
  • Chest pain, heart attack

Cocaine Effects: Long-term Effects of Cocaine

Long-term effects of cocaine use can be deadly, particularly due to heart damage. Dealing with cocaine side effects is now a major concern in inner-city emergency room departments. Long-term effects of cocaine use include:

  • Interference with sleep including suppression of REM sleep
  • Seizures
  • Palatal perforation (a hole in the roof of the mouth)
  • Nose cartilage perforation
  • Sinus diseases, repeated nosebleeds
  • Chronic bronchitis, coughing, coughing up black phlegm
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Risks of IV injection like HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and others
  • Possible lung collapse, respiratory failure, neck pain, painful swallowing if inhaling cocaine
  • Accelerated hardening and subsequent narrowing of the coronary arteries
  • Heart attack, death
  • Alteration in the way the brain senses pleasure

article references

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2021, December 15). Cocaine Effects, Cocaine Side Effects, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: December 29, 2021

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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