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Updated 15 October 2015

How Lamar Odom's drug binge could kill him

Lamar Odom is fighting for his life after a three day partying binge that involved drugs, alcohol and prostitutes left him unresponsive. What exactly was he taking and what effect did these substances have on his heart and other organs?

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Lamar Odom, U.S sportsman and ex-husband of Khloe Kardashian, is said to be suffering from heart failure after he was found unconscious in a brothel on Tuesday.

35-year-old Lamar had been on a a three-day binge at the notorious Love Ranch in Nevada by himself when he was found unconscious with a mucus-like liquid coming out of his mouth, Channel24 reports.

Family and friends, including Khloe Kardashian have flown to be by Lamar's bedside where he is on life support, remaining unresponsive and rumoured to be suffering from heart failure as well as serious issues with his kidneys and lungs.

Lamar, who has been battling drug addiction for several years, is said to have mixed alcohol with a number of other drugs over his three day binge but what exactly was he taking and how did he end up fighting for his life?

Read: Lamar Odom allegedly had "every drug imaginable" in his system

Sexual performance drugs

When news broke that Lamar had been hospitalised, Love Ranch owner Dennis Hof confirmed that Lamar had been taking a herbal sexual enhancement pill known as Reload.

The Federal Drug Administration laboratory analysis confirmed that “Reload” contains sildenafil, the active ingredient in the FDA-approved prescription drug Viagra, used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).  This undeclared ingredient may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs such as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.  Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates to manage the condition. 

Them cakes tho.. ????

A photo posted by MADISON MONTAG (@madisonmontag) on

A photo of Madison Montag, one of the Love Ranch employees that found Lamar.

They warn that consumers should stop using this product immediately and throw it away and if consumers who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a health care professional as soon as possible. 

It was also reported that Omar had taken a sexual performance enhancer called Libimax Plus that, according to the website, contains the ingredients Cordyceps Sinensis, Milkvetch, Chinese Dodder Seed, Dong Quai, Maca Root, Siberian Ginseng, Epimedium Schizandra Fruit, Vitamin B6, L-Argine, L-Lysine, Ligustrum, Vitamin B12, Licorice Root, Tribulus Terrestries. The Chinese herb Dong Quai alone can also cause irregular heart rhythm and a drop in blood pressure.

University of Utah Health Care however, warns that Libimax Plus and other products under the brand name could contain tadalafil (similar to sildenafil) which can cause a painful erection or an erection that lasts longer than four hours and low blood pressure.

love ranch

Dennis Hof's Love Ranch where Lamar Odom was found unconscious on Tuesday (Google Maps).

Cocaine

Brothel employees also reported that Lamar was using a cocaine, CNN explains. Cocaine can lead to disability or death from stroke, says Yu-Ching Cheng from University of Maryland School of Medicine. He says cocaine use can result can result in the constriction of blood vessels, increased heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure and decreased oxygen supply to the brain.

Because cocaine causes an increase in blood pressure, blood vessels can expand which can make the heart beat too rapidly. This can result in a heart attack. Researchers have estimated that the risk of a heart attack jumps by 24 times in the hour after a person uses cocaine.

Read: Why cocaine can kill you

Alcohol

Lamar is said to have been drinking Cognac, according to Hollywood Life.  Excessive alcohol consumption is known to be linked to heart failure although this usually requires heavy consumption for five to fifteen years, according to a systematic review of alcohol and heart failure published in Current Atherosclerosis Reports.

Using alcohol and cocaine together can also have serious consequences for the heart, a study published in Addiction explains. When cocaine is used with alcohol, a chemical known as cocaethylene forms in the liver, Elements Behavioural Health reports. This can cause increased toxicity in the liver and may also up the likelihood of a cocaine-related heart attack.

Combining alcohol with sexual performance pills such as Reload can have a dangerous effect on the body, addictions expert Brad Lamm told Us Weekly. He explains that most herbal Viagra-type pills are imported from China and are largely unregulated. They lower your blood pressure but alcohol raises your heart rate. Mixing the two can result in arrhythmia, causing the user to go into respiratory arrest.

While it was unclear exactly what is wrong with Lamar and whether or not he will survive, the combination of drugs he is reported to have been taking can all have potentially-deadly effects on the body.

Read more:

Lamar Odom is reportedly suffering from hear failure

Lamar Odom remains in critical condition as Khloe arrives at his bedside

Khloe Kardashian's ex-husband found unresponsive at Nevada brothel

 
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