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Cocaine Toxicity and Hepatic Oxidative Stress

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Cocaine belongs to the group of psychostimulants and together with amphetamines has been recognized as one of the most significant examples of drug abuse. Cocaine abuse is due to intense feelings of euphoria, friendliness, empathy, and hyperactivity, which result from its potent inhibitory effects on presynaptic dopamine and noradrenaline re-uptake. Misuse of cocaine can induce severe toxic effects, including neurotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, hepatotoxicity. There are a number of data, both experimental and clinical, regarding its hepatotoxic effects, associated with lipid peroxidation-induced oxidative damage. The oxidative metabolism of cocaine to reactive oxygen species (ROS) like nitrogen peroxide and superoxide anion radicals are thought to be responsible for the cocaine associated liver injury. This review summarizes the present information on cocaine hepatic biotransformation and the possible role of its oxidative metabolism in cocaine-induced hepatic injury.

Keywords: Cocaine abuse; Cocaine hepatotoxicity; amphetamines; antioxidant defence; drug abuse; hyperactivity; intense feelings of euphoria; lipid peroxidation; oxidative stress; psychostimulants

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2012

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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