That blows: Coke tainted with anti-worm medicine could kill
Your day maybe done and you may want to ride on, but you may want to put down the razor blade and step away from the mirror. The cocaine running around your brain these days is increasingly diluted at its production point with something called Levamisole -- seriously bad shit not meant for humans that causes ugly and possibly deadly symptoms. And it's starting to crop up among Minnesota cocaine users.
Via the Minnesota Department of Health:
Levamisole is an anti-worm medication approved for use in veterinary medicine in the United States and South America. It is commonly added to cocaine as a diluting agent and as of July 2009 was detected by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 69 percent of cocaine lots coming into the United States.
Anti-worm medication for animals. Nice. In humans, it causes agranulocytosis, a failure of human bone marrow to make enough white blood cells, and leads to neutropenia, an abnormally low number of the most important type of white blood cell.
MDH says it has three confirmed and two suspect cases of neutropenia associated with recent use of cocaine tainted with levamisole. Symptoms can include fever, darkened or "dead-looking" skin, and other severe infections associated with low white cell counts.
All five cases were from the Twin Cities area. Two of the stricken people have died.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.