Risks of an abnormal heartbeat, blood pressure problems, hallucinations, convulsions and stroke already known, a new study has found that cocaine abusers could even suffer rotting of flesh.
Published in the June 1 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, the report based its analysis on two cases of cocaine abuse that involved women who approached a hospital for help when they noticed purplish plaques on their cheeks, earlobes, legs, thighs and buttocks.
"If you are a user of cocaine, you should be aware that some of the cocaine is not clean and can have other agents that can cause you to have a low white-cell count or skin tissue death," said Dr. Ghinwa Dumyati, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester and an Epidemiologist for the Monroe County Health Department in New York.
The researchers -- Dumyati and other doctors from the University of Rochester Medical Center -- found out that the duo's profiles were typical of toxicity with levamisole.
The drug may induce an immunological reaction producing inflammation or vasculitis, an inflammation inside the small blood vessels, asserted Dumyati, while explaining the link to tissue death. The result can be the death of the epidermis or outer layer of skin, she warned.