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  • Cocaine hydrochloride is a pure version of cocaine. It is also known as cocaine hydrochloride salt and can be dissolved in water to make a solution.

    Cocaine hydrochloride has approved prescription drug forms in the United States and other parts of the world. It is legally available as a nasal spray and a topical (skin) solution. However, it can be habit-forming even in this form.

    Legal Forms Of Cocaine Hydrochloride

    As of 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two cocaine hydrochloride products for medical use. These products are Numbrino and Goprelto.

    Numbrino and Goprelto are nasal sprays that act as local anesthetics. They numb mucous membranes to prepare the nasal cavity or sinus area for surgery. Cocaine administration with these products should only be done by doctors in a medical setting.

    In the past, cocaine hydrochloride has been used as a topical solution for its numbing effects and pain relief. Other forms of cocaine hydrochloride exist, but are not approved by the FDA.

    Effects Of Cocaine Hydrochloride

    As a form of cocaine, cocaine hydrochloride has many shared effects with cocaine. It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that affects the amounts of certain neurotransmitters in the brain and adrenal glands.

    Dopamine and norepinephrine are two catecholamines (types of neurotransmitters) affected by cocaine. Cocaine inhibits their reuptake, increasing the amount that stays in the synapse, to be utilized for longer periods of time. These hormones control motivation, blood pressure, body temperature, and other forms of activity.

    Cocaine hydrochloride and other forms of cocaine use can lead to increased alertness, euphoria, heart rate, numbness, and happiness.

    Risks Of Cocaine Hydrochloride

    Cocaine hydrochloride can be habit-forming. Though it has legal uses, it is also a popular target of drug abuse. Cocaine hydrochloride is often injected or snorted, which can increase the chances of adverse effects.

    Side effects of cocaine hydrochloride range from mild to severe, and can include:

    • irregular heart rate (arrhythmia)
    • tachycardia (chronically high heart rate)
    • hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • vasoconstriction (narrow blood vessels)
    • damaged mucosa or membrane (if snorted)
    • increased risk of HIV or hepatitis C (if injected)

    Risks For Pregnant Or Nursing Mothers

    Cocaine hydrochloride turns into metabolites as it is broken down by the body. Cocaine is usually broken down in the liver, leaving behind benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester.

    Cocaine’s metabolites can be found in breast milk and be harmful to babies. An infant who drinks breast milk with cocaine metabolites may show symptoms of cocaine dependence.

    Nursing or pregnant women should be careful about taking cocaine hydrochloride.


    The toxicity of cocaine hydrochloride in high doses can lead to overdose. Cocaine overdose can be harmful to the heart, brain, and lungs, potentially leading to:

    • myocardial infarction (heart attack)
    • stroke
    • seizures
    • hallucinations

    Overdose can be fatal, especially if it is not treated immediately.

    Cocaine Abuse

    Cocaine hydrochloride is the only legal form of cocaine approved for medical use in the United States. Other illegal forms of cocaine include freebase cocaine and cocaine powder. All forms come from the coca leaves of the coca plant, which is grown in South America.

    Cocaine abuse in any form can cause serious health effects. To learn about how cocaine addiction is treated at our healthcare facilities, please connect with us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    National Institute on Drug Abuse - What is Cocaine? National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration - Cocaine Hydrochloride (FDA)
    U.S. National Library of Medicine - Cocaine hydrochloride C17H22CINO4 - PubChem
    U.S. National Library of Medicine - DailyMed- GOPRELTO - cocaine hydrochloride solution

    Medically Reviewed by
    Davis Sugar, M.D.
    on June 28, 2022
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