An alkaloid ester extracted from the leaves of plants including coca. It is a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor and is clinically used for that purpose, particularly in the eye, ear, nose, and throat. It also has powerful central nervous system effects similar to the amphetamines and is a drug of abuse. Cocaine, like amphetamines, acts by multiple mechanisms on brain catecholaminergic neurons; the mechanism of its reinforcing effects is thought to involve inhibition of dopamine uptake. [PubChem]
For the introduction of local (topical) anesthesia of accessible mucous membranes of the oral, laryngeal and nasal cavities.
Cocaine is a local anesthetic indicated for the introduction of local (topical) anesthesia of accessible mucous membranes of the oral, laryngeal and nasal cavities.
Mechanism of action
Cocaine produces anesthesia by inhibiting excitation of nerve endings or by blocking conduction in peripheral nerves. This is achieved by reversibly binding to and inactivating sodium channels. Sodium influx through these channels is necessary for the depolarization of nerve cell membranes and subsequent propagation of impulses along the course of the nerve. Cocaine is the only local anesthetic with vasoconstrictive properties. This is a result of its blockade of norepinephrine reuptake in the autonomic nervous system. Cocaine binds differentially to the dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine transport proteins and directly prevents the re-uptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine into pre-synaptic neurons. Its effect on dopamine levels is most responsible for the addictive property of cocaine.
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