Cocaine Medical Uses
We all know cocaine as a highly addictive drug that is illegal in most places in the world. But cocaine does have legitimate medical uses.
Cocaine was used for decades as a topical anesthetic in eye and nasal surgeries. However there are disadvantages to using cocaine in such a manner, including toxicity.
The website DocToor.com writes:
Besides being an anesthetic, it also is a potent vasoconstrictor (constricts the blood vessels around the area where injected [eye or nose]). The vasoconstriction helps reduce bleeding and the systemic circulation of cocaine (into the heart, specifically).
Nowadays cocaine is hardly used in Western medicine, instead synthetic anesthetics are more widely used.
Other medical uses include a proposal in 2005 to use cocaine as one ingredient of an eye drop as a diagnostic test for Parkinson's disease.
Given cocaine's addictive nature, most experts say its medical use should be severely restricted, if not completely eliminated.