Is cocaine still used for medicinal purposes?

By the 1930's it was largely

By the 1930's it was largely stopped for medical purposes due to the advent of amphetamines. Up until then it was used medically as a pain killer and anesthetic.

It's also superseded by

It's also superseded by synthetic local anesthetics derived from the same base (notice the names - novocaine, xylocaine, lidocaine). It is still the preferred anesthetic for a few procedures like some nasal surgery (perhaps ironically). It also has uses in things like diagnosing Parkinson's disease.

It's also been used every day for centuries or more by people in the Andes to alleviate the effects of altitude, which is essentially a folk medical application. It's safe in that form (chewed leaves, tea, candy) and nothing else has the same effectiveness and low side-effect profile.

Interestingly most cocaine used in modern medicine is apparently extracted from the coca leaves still used as flavouring (and originally to supply cocaine) in cola drinks - it's a small sideline for Coca-Cola. The leaves do have a unique soft taste that would be hard to reproduce otherwise.

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