Cocaine has a negative effect on the immune system of those who abuse it. The body struggles to fight off infections when the immune system is harmed in any way.
Long term cocaine use has been linked to hepatitis B and C, HIV and sexually transmitted infections. For many years, it was believed that this link was due to increased risk taking behaviors of people addicted to cocaine, however new information suggests other factors.
Research has shown that the immune system of a person addicted to cocaine does not function as efficiently as a person who is not addicted. Even when prescribed antibiotics, the immune system struggles to utilize them properly to fight off infections.
Connection Between Antibiotics And Cocaine
Cocaine and antibiotics affect totally different parts of the body and work in different ways, therefore there is not a direct relationship between cocaine and antibiotics.
Cocaine affects dopamine in the brain, causing euphoria, extreme energy and sleeplessness. Dopamine is also believed to play a significant role in immunity regulation. Disrupting dopamine levels with cocaine use may strongly impact the bodies ability to fight infections.
A lowered immune system leaves a person vulnerable to bacteria and infections, as does not respond as well to antibiotics. Therefore, it is not a good idea to use cocaine while a person is struggling with an infection or taking antibiotics.
Side Effects Of Combining Cocaine And Antibiotics
Cocaine does not directly interact with antibiotics, although cocaine does lower the response of the immune system, increasing the likelihood for infection and need for antibiotics. Once prescribed antibiotics, continued cocaine use decreases the effectiveness of the antibiotics.
The body uses physical barriers to prevent foreign materials from causing infections. Skin, hair and mucous membranes are some of the barriers humans use to prevent bacteria from entering the body.
Smoking, snorting and freebasing cocaine damages the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, mouth and lungs. Cocaine use increases the risk of infection of the respiratory system, including sinus infections, throat infections, pneumonia and bronchitis.
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Another way cocaine decreases function of the immune system is by decreasing how a specific protein responds to infections in the body. This protein, named interleukin-6 (IL-6), is responsible for organizing other components of the immune system to attack foreign substances.
Cocaine decreases the amount of this protein in the body, which decreases overall function of the immune system. Cocaine actually hinders IL-6’s ability to create a strong immune system response when exposed to infection.
Side effects of cocaine use also affect immune system responses. Poor nutrition and insomnia both negatively impact immune system function. Additionally, cocaine intoxication may make a person forget to take antibiotics as prescribed, resulting in extended infection times.
Cocaine has a number of undesirable effects on the body. Decreasing ability to fight off infections, even while taking antibiotics, is another reason to avoid using cocaine.
Find Help For Cocaine Abuse And Addiction
Although cocaine and antibiotics do not interact, cocaine certainly affects an antibiotics ability to heal infections. By decreasing the strength of the immune system, cocaine can prolong the length of an infection as well.
Cocaine use also damages the lining of the lungs, throat, mouth and nose, which can allow bacteria and infections to enter the body quickly. Forgetting or messing up the dosage of an antibiotic may also occur if a person is under the influence of cocaine.
It is never recommended that a person use cocaine for any reason, but it should most certainly be avoided during an infection or while prescribed antibiotics.
If a person cannot refrain from cocaine use while taking an antibiotic or fighting off an infection, it could indicate a cocaine abuse or addiction.
There are several treatment options available for individuals struggling with cocaine addiction. Contact our specialists today to learn more about cocaine addiction and recovery options.