Nifedipine protects the heart from the acute deleterious effects of cocaine if administered before but not after cocaine.
BACKGROUND We tested the hypothesis that nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker, could ameliorate the toxic effects of cocaine on the myocardium.
METHODS AND RESULTS In an initial protocol, anesthetized dogs were pretreated with nifedipine or saline and then administered cocaine (10 mg/kg, i.v. bolus). Coronary blood flow, heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and the first derivation of left ventricular pressure (dP/dt) were measured at baseline, 2 minutes, and 15 minutes after cocaine administration. Nifedipine pretreatment prevented the early cocaine-induced decrease in coronary blood flow and improved left ventricular dP/dt compared with untreated control animals. After cocaine, ejection fraction fell in the saline group to 37 +/- 3% but increased in the nifedipine group to 59 +/- 4% (p less than 0.05). In a second protocol, vehicle or intravenous nifedipine was administered after an infusion of cocaine (10 mg/kg). In contrast to pretreatment, there was no significant improvement in left ventricular function or coronary blood flow in nifedipine-treated versus control animals. Data from the study also suggested that cocaine acts directly on the myocardium. Within seconds of cocaine bolus administration, coronary blood flow in control animals increased to a peak level 59 +/- 14% higher than before cocaine and left ventricular dP/dt decreased by 23 +/- 5%, providing evidence that cocaine causes direct depression of myocardial function independent of a decrease in myocardial blood flow.
CONCLUSIONS We conclude that nifedipine administered as a pretreatment protects against the depression of myocardial function and decrease in coronary blood flow caused by acute cocaine administration. However, when nifedipine is given after cocaine, no improvement is seen. Cocaine has a direct negative inotropic effect on the heart that is independent of a decrease in coronary blood flow.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association