By LeeWEpstein

February 13, 2020

Medical cocaine has existed since its synthesis at the end of the 19th century. Used at the time as an anesthetic, it was also recommended for treating respiratory diseases. Its use was then reduced with the arrival of modern anesthetics and its classification as a narcotic in the 1961 UN Convention.

Nevertheless, in mid-January, the FDA approved a cocaine hydrochloride nasal spray, called Numbrino, after passing two randomized, double-blind Phase III clinical trials.


In fact ,the FDA approval of our cocaine product, the first to include full clinical trials in the company’s history, marks an important milestone in Lannett’s 70-year history,” said Tim Crew, CEO of Lannett Company, in a press release. “We believe the product has the potential to be an excellent option for its indication. We expect to launch the product shortly ….

Unlike cannabis, which is classified in Schedule I of the most restrictive list of narcotic drugs, cocaine is indeed placed in Schedule II, effectively recognizing the potential for use in a medical setting.

So the nasal administration of pharmaceutical cocaine already tested in the USA. In the 1980s, a Los Angeles-based researcher, Ronald K. Siegel, studied the effects of cocaine on arthritic pain. Consequently, the study showed that cocaine could effectively manage chronic pain without triggering an addictive effect. However, patients reported feeling uncomfortable “hitting” a drug, and some study subjects turned to non-pharmaceutical cocaine after Siegel revealed the true identity of the drug.

Nasal sprays particularly used for medical use. Last year, President Trump asked the US Department of Veterans Affairs to purchase an FDA-approved (from Johnson & Johnson) ketamine nasal spray to treat depression in veterans. In December, an Oregon-based company announced that it would begin developing a nasal spray to administer psilocybin, the psychedelic component of mushrooms.

Nasal sprays for cannabis have been available for some years, but none have been approved by the FDA.

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