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ICU drug counteracts cocaine

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A drug commonly used as a sedative in intensive care units can counteract the effects of cocaine on the human cardiovascular system, research has shown.

A drug commonly used as a sedative in intensive care units can counteract the effects of cocaine on the human cardiovascular system, research has shown.

Dexmedetomidine was found to lower the heart rate and blood pressure in a clinical trial involving 22 volunteers who had taken a small dose of the drug.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center also found the dexmedetomidine reduced sympathetic nerve activity in the subjects who had taken cocaine.

The study authors said further research was needed to ascertain whether dexmedetomidine can be used to treat acute cocaine overdose in accident and emergency units.

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