The University of Arizona

Health Consequences of Illicit Drug Use
Health Effects of Cocaine :
General Health Effects

Cocaine use, like MA use, triggers the activation of the sympathetic nervous system causing users to experience effects such as: [1]

  • Mental stimulation
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Increased rate of breathing
  • More rapid brain electrical activity
  • Elevated blood sugar level
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Dilated pupils

As with MA, cocaine can produce effects that many users find desirable; for example, an increase in energy and sexuality; a decrease in appetite; and a sense of euphoria.  Cocaine users, however, can also experience restlessness, irritability, and anxiety.[2]



  • (1) Weiss RD, Mirin SM, Bartel RL. Cocaine. 2 ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Press, Inc; 1994.
  • (2) NIDA. Cocaine: Abuse and Addiction. Rockville, MD; 2004 Nov. Report No.: 99-4342.


  • ="Dilated
    Dilated Pupils