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Cocaine metabolites

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Cocaine is an alkaloid of Erythroxylon coca that is grown in the northern South American Andes, India, Africa and Java. It is used medicinally as a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor in nasal surgery and to dilate pupils. Because cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant it is among the most abused drugs. Cocaine abuse can lead to sudden death due to cardiotoxicity or the sequential development of hyperthermia, agitated delirium and respiratory arrest. Cocaine is metabolized in the liver to inactive benzoylecgonine (BZE). BZE is pharmacologically inactive and has a longer half-life than its parent drug cocaine. It is the substance most tested for when investigating suspected cocaine abuse. Cocaethylene (CE) is produced in the liver in the presence of ethanol and has been shown to have similar stimulatory effects as cocaine in animal studies.(Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, Seventh Edition) Cocaethylene is toxic to the myocardium.

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Awaiting result:

One day

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Collect material:

Blood

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Purpose of the test

The cocaine screen is a diagnostic test designed to determine if an individual has recently used cocaine. This test can detect the presence of cocaine or its metabolites in various samples, including urine, saliva, blood, hair, or sweat. The primary metabolites of cocaine that the test looks for are benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester, with the former being the most commonly tested.

Who Should Get Tested

Several scenarios might necessitate a cocaine screen. Individuals applying for jobs or insurance policies that require drug testing, those on parole, or those suspected of driving under the influence of drugs might be tested. Additionally, healthcare providers might order the test if they suspect cocaine abuse, if a patient presents in the emergency room with symptoms indicative of drug abuse, or if the patient is at a drug treatment clinic.

Preparing for the Test
Fasting
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Depending on the type of cholesterol test, you may be required to fast for 9 to 12 hours before the test. This means avoiding all food and drinks except water. Fasting is usually required for a lipid panel, which measures LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Medications
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Inform your healthcare provider about any medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medications and supplements, as they can affect your test results.
Alcohol
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Avoid alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours before the test, as alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
Exercise
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Avoid heavy exercise for 24 hours before the test, as this can also affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Smoking
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Avoid smoking or using any nicotine products for at least 30 minutes before the test, as they can temporarily increase cholesterol levels.
Follow instructions
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Follow any specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider, such as the time of day to take the test or any dietary restrictions.
Interpreting Test Results

The results of a cocaine screen are typically reported as either positive (indicating the presence of cocaine or its metabolites) or negative (no evidence of cocaine in the body). The exact interpretation depends on the cutoff number, which indicates the concentration of the substance in the sample. It's important to note that rapid screening tests, while quick, are not as accurate as lab tests. Therefore, positive results from rapid tests should always be confirmed in a lab for accuracy.

AI-Powered Insights and Expert Validation
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