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What exactly does crack cocaine do to a person’s heart?

My fiance has had 2 heart attacks and has 2 stents as a result. He is 54. He partakes in recreational drugs sometimes, namely crack cocaine. What exactly is this doing to his heart? His doc told him not to take his beta-blocker if he is going to use, because the 2 drugs interfere with the other. What other damage could be taking place?

submitted by Teri from Minneapolis, Minnesota on 1/20/2013


by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, George Younis, MD  

George Younis, MDCocaine causes the arteries to spasm and damages their endothelium, a fragile lining of the vessels. It raises the blood pressure dramatically. It puts a lot of stress on the heart and acutely increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. This is particularly true in patients with known history of coronary disease, heart attacks, and stents. 

Obviously cocaine use should be avoided at all costs.

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Updated January 2013
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