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Dr. Robert
Dr. Robert, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  M.B.B.S, Experienced Family Physician
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HEART PALPITATIONS / COCAINE: BACKGROUND: 23 years old,

Resolved Question:

HEART PALPITATIONS / COCAINE:
BACKGROUND: 23 years old, healthy diet, exercise running 3-5 miles 1-3 times a week. No personal history of heart problems but grandfather had heart problems in his old age which contributed to his death.
SYMPTOMS: I began using cocaine about 6 months ago, using it 1-2 times a month, and in small doses. During this period for the first time I noticed some chest tightness / minor pain while running which I attributed to tobacco use. I also noticed very minor palpitations while studying which I attributed to stress / chewing tobacco.
The past month I have used cocaine 6 times, 3 of these times in larger doses continually throughout the night. The last time was 5 days ago. The next day I noticed significant heart palpitations, like my chest was pulsating, was dizzy, at point during the day felt a minor tingle in my fingertips. I was having tightness in my chest, but not pain. Laying down to sleep was the worst, I was scared my heart was going to stop it seemed to be beating so loudly and erratically. My heart seemed to be skipping beats / beating irregularly.
Over the past 4 days the palpitations have reduced in frequency and intensity but they are still happening. There is occasionally very subtle chest tightness, but no pain. I have noticed they increase with caffeine or with alcohol, or after eating / digesting food. Despite the palpitations, my heart rate has been normal.
Obviously the cocaine use needs to stop. However, I want to start running again and I plan on attending a party next week. It seems like the palpitations may stop on their own with time, but as it will not be convenient for me to see a doctor until over a week,
I'm wondering:
(1) Am I at any immediate risk?
(2) Is it possible I have permanently damaged my heart - should I see a doctor?
(3) Is it safe to drink coffee, alcohol? Is it safe to exercise?
(4) Is it safe to use my ADHD medication (Adderall) which raises my heart rate?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Robert replied 5 years ago.
Hello,
Welcome to justanswer and thank you for your question
I understand your problem, and will answer you in detail.
Answer 1- Well, you need to consult your doctor as early as possible. Cocaine is causing increased or irregular heartbeat and constricted blood vessels, and having effect on heart.
Answer 2- At your age, chances of permanent damage to heart are very less. You need to get blood tests done.
Answer 3- You should not take coffee, alcohol, because they will lead to Heart palpitations.
Answer 4- Adderall may cause fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats but You should not stop this all of a sudden.
I advise that you should not delay and rush to ER now and get it managed.
I wish for your good health.
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