Q. Can we get chest pain due to cocaine?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 30, 2020

Hello, I used cocaine every now for 12-18 months sometimes two times a month sometimes not at all, roughly for 2.5-3 years ago (havnt touched it since). I have no family history of heart problems. My family actually has incredible cardiac genes. Since the last time i used (handful of times on a weekend only binge before 2 years) during that time i felt light headed and thought i was going to pass out but was also very dehydrated and felt fine after having water and gatorade 20 minutes later. i had an odd chest discomfort 3 days later i thought i was having a mini heart attack and went to the er 3 days later. At the ER i told them i did cocaine and took an ekg, T test for troponin and chest x ray. Everything came back normal.

The chest pain was not severe i believe i had an anxiety attack and the doctors sent me home with no prescriptions and clean bill of health. Since then i saw how horrible cocaine is for your body and vowed to never use again as it is pointless in the risk this has also given me anxiety since. Every now and then i have a dull left chest pain around the lower and mid pec, sometimes arm and neck which feels like anything from indigestion/muscle-ligament strain. I am an avid weight lifter so i do not discount injuries. I also had jaw pain and consulted a dentist. The doctor told me that it was due to TMJ.

My Internal medicine doctor said do not worry about at it that i didnt use long enough or frequent enough and that i did not overdose or i would have had severe repercussions that water couldnt cure and all my current cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure is healthy. However at times i get these aches (1 out of 10 on the pain scale very dull) and i wonder if i have long term damage to my heart via atherosclerosis or LV damage or fibrosis if sorts. Any time i feel the chest pain i either run on the treadmill or do jumping jacks and spike my heart rate to confirm it is not cardiac related. Given the info above should i seek further cardiac testing and treatment? Can your heart heal after 2.5 - 3 years of quitting? Am i being unresonable or should i source additional testing? I have no shortness of breathe can do a full workout, do not have any other symptoms other than papiltations which could be caused by stress/anxiety? Any time i get a twinge if discomfort in my jaw neck or left chest i immedietly assume its a heart attack. Either i get these pains on the left side due to cardiac problems or from anxiety and hyper focus on the area. Thank you for your time sorry for the long message.

#

Hello,

It's very unlikely to be a cardiac pain. It's not cocaine related now. Cocaine can cause heart issues when it is consumed in high doses and present in the body because of coronary artery vasospasm, or else if consumed for long time say many years or decades to cause atherosclerosis. With your level of consumption, it's very unlikely to have caused any permanent damage. However cocaine just made your aware of such pains which might be occurring before and precipitated your anxiety. So you have become more sensitive to the nonspecific pains which are going to occur every now and then, especially with workouts or gastric reflux. So I don't think there is anything to worry about it. And if it was a heart related issue then full workouts would not be possible, either one ll get severe breathlessness, chest pain or heart attack. Also, cardiac symptoms would be very consistent, meaning coming everytime you are having heavy activities


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