Mixing Ephedrine and Alcohol – Why its So DANGEROUS
Is it okay to mix ephedrine and alcohol or are there potential adverse effects?
Ephedrine is a natural plant alkaloid that comes from the Ephedra Sinica plant. It is a Central Nervous System stimulant that activates beta-adrenergic receptors throughout the body.
Consumption of ephedrine of ephedrine can make you feel more awake, alert and concentration. It increases energy metabolism and has been used to treat breathing conditions and as a weight-loss aid.
Alcohol is a Central Nervous System depressant, activating GABA receptors in the brain. It has the opposite effect as ephedrine and can make individuals feel less alert and sleepy, as well as producing an intoxicant effect.
It is strongly recommended not to combine ephedrine and alcohol due to the potential for unpredictable side effects. While the mechanisms of these psychoactive drugs do not directly interact, they can cause some unsafe reactions if consumed together. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Effects of Ephedrine
Ephedrine works by stimulating excitatory receptors involved in the sympathetic nervous system.
This is part of the autonomic nervous system that regulates unconscious activities in the body. It controls functions such as breathing, heart rate, digestion, and metabolism.
Ephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine that imitates some of the effects of the two stimulatory neurohormones, adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine).
Much like when you experience an adrenaline rush during a period of high stress, ephedrine causes you to become more vigilant, wakeful, energetic and motivated. It increases the rate at which your body metabolizes energy, so you are able to respond to a potential threat.
Ephedrine and ephedra have long been used in traditional medicine to treat breathing conditions, flus, lethargy and to improve general well-being. They are also now used to boost energy levels, promote weight loss, improve mood and promote greater focus and concentration.
Effects of Alcohol
How does alcohol work and can this mechanism of action interfere with the effects of ephedrine pills?
Alcohol is a nervous system depressant, causing users to feel more relaxed and inhibiting excitatory signaling in the body and brain. Alcohol works by activating receptors for a neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA-B receptors)
Alcohol also reduces activity at excitatory glutamate receptors in the brain. Glutamate is involved in neurophysiological systems which increase energy levels in the body as well as brain activity. Alcohol effectively suppresses glutamate secretions.
The result is a sedative-like effect, which is directly opposite to what happens when you consume stimulants like ephedrine. Thus, combining these two is counterproductive as many of their effects cancel each other out.
But there are some areas where alcohol can actually increase the effects of ephedrine on the brain. For example, ephedrine has been shown to increase dopaminergic activity by increasing its release from neurons.
Alcohol can also increase dopamine release, which is the neurotransmitter involved in the brain’s “reward center”. Increased dopamine activity can promote a sensation of pleasure and at high dosages can promote a euphoric sensation.
This could explain why some people who use ephedrine recreationally will abuse alcohol at the same time in the hopes of achieving a “high” effect. However, this could be dangerous to your health and mental state.
Mixing Ephedrine and Alcohol
The effect of mixing ephedrine and alcohol would tend toward negating the benefits of each, as ephedrine is stimulative and alcohol depressive.
Ephedrine has a mechanism of action that is similar to amphetamine. It can contribute to side effects like altered perception and emotional and physical reactions.
Medical experts also suggest that use of ephedrine pills could enhance the body’s response to alcohol and increase the intoxicant effects. It could cause unpredictable changes to motor coordination and mental alertness.
Some reports online suggest that consuming stimulants with alcohol can mask feelings of intoxication and make it harder to judge how much you have consumed. Ephedrine may make you feel like you are wake and can exercise good judgement even while you are under the effects of alcohol.
It could also cause you to over-estimate your coordination and ability to drive while under the influence. This could be dangerous both to your health and to others.
It may also cause you to feel like you have a higher tolerance to the amount of alcohol you have ingested and lead you to drinking more than what is safe.
According to one source, this combination may also lead to worse hangovers the next morning. Both ephedrine and alcohol can lead to dehydration, which is one of the major causes of a hangover.
Furthermore, as the effects of ephedrine HCL pills or ephedra supplements begin to wear off, some users can develop a headache, nausea, insomnia, or other adverse effects which may exacerbate hangover symptoms.
More serious dangerous reactions are possible in people who have pre-existing medical conditions, high sensitivity to these products or who are using other substances or medications at the same time.
In some cases, serious cardiovascular problems have occurred when mixing these substances. One website mentions the risk of heart failure. Heart attacks, strokes and seizures are all possible side effects of taking too much ephedrine and these risks may be increased with alcohol use.
In another medical case report, a man combined ephedra with alcohol and experienced psychosis-like symptoms despite having no prior record of mental instability.
There have also been a number of documented cases of harmful adverse reactions when combining other stimulants with alcohol in excessive amounts. Since many stimulants share the same mechanism of action, it is likely that the same outcomes are possible.
You may be able to drink a beer or a glass of wine a few hours after taking an ephedrine pill without experiencing negative effects. However, the risk of potentially serious complications is not worth it. You are advised to abstain from any alcoholic beverages while using this product.
Manufacturers of products that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine often state on product labels not to mix with alcohol. Low levels of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine may be found in common asthma bronchodilator medications, cold and flu products, and cough formulas.
Individuals diagnosed with a number of disease processes are cautioned regarding diet and any form of alcohol when taking a number of cold medicine products containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, chlorpheniramine, and other stimulants.
Such conditions include but are not limited to:
- Alcohol abuse or alcoholism
- Liver disease
- Renal disease
- Any cardiovascular issue or disease process
While some mix of ephedrine and alcohol to get a buzz or to get high without feeling particularly lethargic, it’s not a safe combination, especially due to the wide variety of scenarios which can apply.
A person using hard liquor in combination with ephedrine may experience different effects than a person combining beer with ephedrine. The milligram strength and source of the ephedrine can also influence outcomes.
Before mixing ephedrine and alcohol, consider safety first. Because the two can counteract or unexpectedly enhance the effect of the other, caution is always advised.
Mixing alcohol with any drug, including acetaminophen, can cause major drug reactions and side effects that include potential joint pain and swelling, weakness, easier bruising and bleeding, and chills and fever. Long-term combinations can potentially damage the liver and cardiovascular function.
Bottom line: Any component that alters brain function can cause short-term as well as long-term damage. Combining two or more components that have opposite effects but nevertheless influence alterations in brain activity is dangerous.
While mixing ephedrine and alcohol may prove tempting for some, be aware of the ramifications of the combination.