What is Ephedrine?
Description of Ephedrine?
Ephedrine is derived from “MaHuang”. This Chinese plant’s scientific name is Ephedra Sinica. This herbal supplement/drug is classified as a stimulant. Pseudoephedrine is the first key ingredient in this plant: this mild stimulant is typically used for sinus decongestant. The second active ingredient in “MaHuang” is ephedrine: this chemical sometimes reduces a person’s appetite and boosts energy and metabolism. These ingredients are present in many over-the-counter cold medicines and health products. The FDA regulates ephedrine, the chemically-synthesized form of ephedra. Ephedrine can be produced in a lab, and in its pure form (ephedrine sulfate) has a bitter tasting. It looks like a white, crystalline powder. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine stimulate the opening of airways in the lungs and are commonly used as decongestants. It is a short-term treatment of asthma, bronchitis, and certain allergic respiratory reactions. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are also present in dietary supplements. Some reports claim that it promotes weight loss and enhances athletic performance. The active compounds are structurally similar to amphetamines. They have much less potent effects, but also stimulate the central nervous system. Ephedrine is frequently one of the main chemical compounds in Ecstasy and Crystal Methamphetamine. Since it is crucial for other illegal-synthesized drugs, the government carefully supervises the purchase of over the counter cold and cough medicine.
What is the Scientific Name of Ephedra?
- Ephedra sinica Stapf.
- Ephedra Intermedia Schrenk et Meyer, or Ephedra Equisetina
What is the Chemical Formula of Ephedra?C10H15NO (Ephedrine)
What is the Origin of Ephedra?
Traditionally, Chinese medicine has used ephedra to treat asthma and other respiratory problems. Although ephedrine is presumed “safe” under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, the International Olympic Committee, the National Football League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the U.S. Armed Forces have all banned products containing ephedra and ephedrine because consumers were consuming too much of the drug.
What is the Legal Status of Ephedra in the US?
Behind the Counter (BTC) (Ephedrine-HCL is legal, but dosages are heavily controlled)
What are the Common Street Names of Ephedra?
- Ripped Fuel (Protein Drink)
- Yellow Jackets
- Natural Ecstasy
- Black Beauties
- Mormon Tea
- Desert Tea
- Ephedrine Alkaloids
How is Ephedra Used?
Ephedra, or Ephedrine, is usually taken orally. A common adult dosage ranges from 30 to 60 mg in pill form. Most people take it three to four times a day. In low doses, ephedrine is also used in nasal sprays as a decongestant. Ephedra has been found in protein drinks and diet pills. One popular health and fitness supplement company to introduce the substance is “Ripped Fuel”.
How Long Does Ephedra Stay in Your System?
Comparing coffee, or aspirin which are out of your system in four to five hours, Ephedrine will let you stay wired for up 8 hours. Most people use Ephedra because it does not make them twitchy or jittery. If people are used to dosing themselves every three to four hours, there is a high possibility of overdosing on ephedrine. Especially, if users abuse the herbal supplement and mix it with other drugs like caffeine and aspirin. While advertised for weight loss, people have abused Ephedrine.
(Ephedrine in combination with Caffeine) Caffeine and ephedrine keep your blood pressure raised for about 4 to 6 hours after taking both substances. The determining factor that affects the effects is the amount you take. The more you take the longer Ephedrine lasts. Some people are especially sensitive to stimulants: ephedrine’s effects last longer for them. Other users may develop a tolerance for this combination and function normally. It has been documented that prolonged use of ephedrine makes a person’s body becomes used to the substance: the effects will subsequently diminish much faster.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Short-Term Ephedra Use?
What are the Physical Short-Term Effects of Ephedra Use?
- Urinary Problems
- Increased Energy
- More Mental Alertness
What are the Short-Term Effects of Ephedra Use on Behavior?
- Obsessive Anxiety
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Long-Term Ephedra Addiction?
What are the Long-Term Effects of Ephedra Use on the Body?
- High Blood Pressure
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Kidney Failure
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Cardiovascular Disease
What are the Long-Term Effects of Ephedra Use on Behavior?
- Mood Swings
- Sudden losses of Consciousness
How do you diagnose Ephedra Addiction?
Ephedra abusers, usually using it for weight loss, take the drug in excessive amounts. Some people take the stimulant for recreational purposes to party the whole night. Ephedra abuse usually results in physical and psychological harm. The drug may also damage users in all other areas of their lives.
Signs of Ephedra Abuse include:
- Exhibiting Withdrawal Symptoms When Quitting its Use
- Using the drug, despite knowing its negative health effects and other bad side effects
- Purchasing Ephedrine in large illegal amounts
- Trouble at Work, School, and Home
- Disinterest in Normal Hobbies
- Unable to Stop Using
- Hiding its Use from Friends and Family
- Increased Dosages
What are the Withdrawal Effects of Ephedra?
- Heart Palpitations
- High Blood Pressure
- Muscle Twitches and Disorders
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Death from CNS complications
- Heart Attacks
- Cold Sweats
How is Ephedra Addiction Treated?
Normal Ephedra Rehab treatments include Detox either in a medically supervised setting or at an outpatient facility. Afterwards, the recovering addict can continue onto comprehensive Rehab therapy.
(Ephedra Overdose) Treatment normally consists of outpatient care and support group therapy. This process holistically treats the symptoms that occur from stimulant abuse and prevents any future overdoses. For example, if chronic stimulant abuse triggered an irregular heartbeat, supportive medical treatment would involve prescribing medications that can help the heart return to its normal rhythm. There is really no definitive way to treat Ephedra abuse or overdose. Most approaches follow similar stimulant rehab workflows.
What is the Extent of Ephedra Use?
Ephedra is used extensively in the United States for many applications. According to a survey, fourteen (14) ephedra manufacturers participated in an AHPA survey in 1999. 425 million ephedra “servings” were sold in 1995, the number rose to 3 billion servings in 1999, for a total estimated at 6.8 billion ephedra servings sold. Currently, 12 to 17 million Americans consume more than three billion Ephedra servings each year.
In 2002, Health Canada, the Canadian government agency responsible health regulations and standards, demanded an immediate recall of products containing both natural ephedra and chemical ephedrine. The Canadian public health department received over fifty incident-reports of adverse health complications surrounding excessive ephedra use.