Author(s): Harris DS, Everhart ET, Mendelson J, Jones RT
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Concurrent use of cocaine and alcohol results in formation of a cocaine homolog and metabolite-cocaethylene. METHODS: To characterize cocaethylene pharmacology, ten paid volunteer subjects were given deuterium-labeled (d(5)) cocaine (0.3, 0.6, and 1.2 mg/kg and cocaine placebo) by a 15-min constant rate intravenous injection 1 h after a single oral dose of ethanol (1 g/kg) or ethanol and cocaine placebo using a double-blind, crossover design. Six of the same volunteers subsequently received a 1.2 mg/kg dose of cocaine alone. A small (7.5 mg) nonpharmacologically active dose of deuterium-labeled cocaethylene-d(3) was concurrently administered with the cocaine to enable calculation of absolute cocaethylene formation and clearance. Plasma and urine cocaine, cocaethylene, and benzoylecgonine concentrations, physiologic and subjective effects were measured. RESULTS: When co-administered with ethanol, 17+/-6\% (mean+/-S.D.) of the cocaine was converted to cocaethylene. Cocaethylene peak plasma concentrations and AUC increased proportionally to the cocaine dose. Ethanol ingestion prior to cocaine administration decreased urine benzoylecgonine levels by 48\% and increased urinary cocaethylene and ecgonine ethyl ester levels. Subjects liked and experienced more total intoxication after the combination of cocaine and ethanol than after either drug alone. CONCLUSIONS: In the presence of ethanol, the altered biotransformation of cocaine resulted in 17\% of an intravenous cocaine dose being converted to cocaethylene and relatively lower urinary concentrations of benzoylecgonine.
This article was published in Drug Alcohol Depend
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals