Oral Ephedrine Tablets – Where Can you Buy Online Without a Prescription?
Oral ephedrine tablets are a legal over-the-counter medication sold in the United States and Canada for the alleviation of breathing problems.
While you do not need a prescription to buy ephedrine HCL pills or capsules in most states, there are several restrictions on the sale of this ingredient.
Ephedrine tablets are frequently purchased by bodybuilders and dieters who use them with other fat burners in weight loss stacks. The FDA has not approved the use of this drug for weight loss or treatment of obesity, so such use is off-label.
Research shows that this alkaloid from the ephedra plant can boost metabolism, reduce the appetite and contribute to greater energy levels. It is used to enhance athletic performance, increase power and endurance and to cut body fat to low levels.
There is concern about serious adverse effects when taking ephedrine capsules to lose weight. This ingredient has been banned in dietary supplements in the USA, although the ephedra herb is still legal so long as it has the ephedrine alkaloids removed. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Ephedrine was formerly one of the most popular weight loss supplement ingredients taken by bodybuilders and athletes during a cutting cycle. Its use also spread to dieters who wanted help slimming down and boosting energy levels.
In 2004, the FDA banned the sale of this alkaloid as a dietary supplement. This means that it cannot be sold in fat burners or weight loss products anymore. However, it is still legal to sell in other forms for the treatment of certain medical concerns.
Bodybuilders will often try to acquire these legal forms to use in their fat loss stacks instead. These products are not ideally formulated for weight loss and this practice is cautioned against.
Ephedrine HCL and ephedrine sulfate tablets are sold in certain countries to treat asthma, nasal congestion, hay fever allergies and bronchitis. Some jurisdictions allow the sale of this ingredient without a prescription while others require a prescription from a doctor.
In many countries, the sale of ephedrine pills in any milligram strength is no longer legally allowed due to the risk of misuse. There are also concerns about this compound being used to manufacture the illegal drug methamphetamine.
If you live in the United States or Canada, you can purchase this substance over-the-counter provided that certain requirements are met. In the USA, pure ephedrine pills or powder can no longer be sold, and it must be formulated with another ingredient like Guaifenesin.
Individuals wishing to buy oral tablets must approach the pharmacy counter and show identification before purchasing. In certain states, you will also have to sign a document verifying your identity and address.
Customers are also limited to the amount of ephedrine products they can purchase on a daily or monthly basis. There is a maximum of 3.6 grams per day or 9.6 grams per month of the active ingredient.
Some online sources do advertise the sale of pure ephedrine 25 mg capsules. However, most of these suppliers are located overseas in Asia and there can be problems with importing the drug internationally.
Many of these vendors market themselves as legitimate pharmacies, when they are actually underground labs or black-market vendors with questionable quality control and no legal export license.
Buying Ephedrine Products Without a Prescription?
What kind of ephedrine tablets are available for sale without a prescription? There are fewer brands of this product available to purchase today than previously.
Use of this ingredient has largely been replaced with safer medications that provide similar benefits. Many drugstores also elect not to carry this compound due to increased regulatory scrutiny and requirements.
Medications that contain ephedrine HCl or sulfate cannot be promoted for fat loss, athletic performance enhancement, energy or appetite control. They can only be labelled for the treatment of asthma, congestion, bronchitis, and other breathing issues.
Some of the products sold today that contain ephedrine and/or pseudoephedrine include:
- Sudafed contains pseudoephedrine (240 mg) in each tablet
- Bronkaid contains 25 mg ephedrine sulfate per capsule in addition to 400 mg guaifenesin
- Ephedrine Plus bronchodilator (25 mg tablets discontinued)
- EPHED provides 12.mg with 200 mg guaifenesin.
- Walgreens Bronchial Asthma Relief 12.5 mg ephedrine hydrochloride tablet with 200 mg guaifenesin
- Primatene tablets containing 12.5 mg ephedrine hydrochloride with 200 mg guaifenesin
Consumers will find that most of the asthma, cold, and allergy medications contain relatively low doses of ephedrine compared to guaifenesin. This is intended to prevent the extraction of the active ingredient for the manufacturing of illegal drugs.
There is a maximum dosage of 12.5mg ephedrine per pill in some states. Other states provide for a maximum of 25mg per tablet. In Canada, there is a maximum dose per tablet of 8 mg.
Higher dosages may be prescribed by a doctor. Some companies in the UK sell a formulation that contains 30 mg ephedrine HCL in a liquid nasal drop. In the United States, purchasing a high dose produce requires a prescription from a doctor for a legitimate medical condition.
Underground labs may advertise products with higher milligram strengths of 75mg, 100mg or 150mg per dose. These dosages are recommended against due to increased risk of side effects with use.
In addition to the oral tablets, ephedrine sulfate is available as an injectable drug. This form should only be administered by a qualified physician and is intended for use during surgical procedures to combat hypotension. In such cases, dosages between 25 mg and 100 mg are given intramuscularly or subcutaneously.
What Exactly Does Ephedrine Do?
Ephedrine is defined as a sympathomimetic amine, which means that it can imitate or mimic some of the effects of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The SNS is what regulates the fight-or-flight stress response that we typically associated with the hormone adrenaline.
Taking ephedrine can activate certain receptors in the brain, in muscle tissue and in other parts of the body. It turns on or stimulates alpha and beta-adrenergic receptors found in the heart, lungs, blood vessels and elsewhere.
This drug is classified as a vasopressor and bronchodilator. Its primary mechanism of action is to dilate or expand airways found in the lungs, enabling greater oxygen intake. This is why it is clinically useful in the treatment of asthma.
It also causes construction of blood vessels in the smooth muscle tissue lining the sinuses. This results in narrowing of sinus walls and reduction of inflammation in nasal passages, which can relieve congestion.
By activating alpha receptors, this drug constricts arteries which increases blood pressure and accelerates the flow of blood that returns to the heart.
Beta-one receptors are typically found in the heart muscle. When stimulated, the beta-one receptors speed up your heartbeat and increase the force of the contractions.
Ephedrine also has the ability to dilate or expand blood vessels in specific parts of the body. This increases circulatory efficacy, which can boost oxygen and nutrient uptake within your cells.
Ephedrine also promotes the release of norepinephrine in the brain. This is a neurotransmitter that can activate alpha, beta-one, and beta-two receptors as well.
Ephedrine stimulates the Autonomic Nervous System, which is responsible for the unconscious functions occurring in our body at any given time. These include:
- Heart pumping and other cardiovascular functions
Many of the effects of ephedrine are similar to those of adrenaline because it activates the same receptors in the body. When you take this drug, you may experience a surge of energy that is characteristic of an adrenaline rush.
Adrenaline is normally released in periods of high stress such as when we are facing imminent danger or threatening circumstances. This neurohormone causes several reactions in the body, such as increased vigilance, wakefulness, concentration, and greater muscle tension.
Stimulating adrenergic receptors also changes the way your body metabolizes energy, causing an increased rate of caloric expenditure and greater lipolysis (breakdown of fatty acids).
Our body prepares for responding to potential threats by mobilizing more stored energy and making it available to fuel cellular reactions. One of the byproducts of this is increased thermogenesis or heat production.
These effects have medicinal benefits for individuals in patient care scenarios. However, they can also result in faster weight loss as well as enhanced athletic speed, performance and endurance.
An additional effect of this stimulant is to suppress the appetite. It slows down the emptying of food you eat from your stomach and inhibits signals from the gut to the brain that cause individuals to overeat.
While it has been proven effective for weight loss, it is considered unsafe due to a high frequency of negative effects. Use of ephedrine tablets for medicinal reasons should always be carefully monitored because of the risk of potential side effects and adverse reactions.
Dosages for Oral Ephedrine
Use of oral ephedrine for medical reasons has declined in recent years, but there are still several drugs sold with this ingredient. It is considered safe if taken as an asthma, flu, or cough and cold medicine.
Oral ephedrine tablets and capsules come in a variety of dosages. This drug is also sometimes supplied in liquid or mist inhaler form. Some of the commonly available dosages include:
- 4 mg
- 8 mg
- 10 mg
- 12.5 mg
- 25 mg
- 30 mg
- 50 mg
- 75 mg
- 100 mg
Availability of tablets will depend on your country of residence. Depending on where you live, this drug may be available as a prescription-only or over-the-counter product.
One of the most common brand names is Bronkaid, intended for the relief of intermittent asthma symptoms. This drug provides 25mg of ephedrine with 400 mg of guaifenesin. Due to this high dosage, it is not legal in all states in the USA.
This drug may also be prepared in the form of an ephedrine sulfate injection. This use is limited to the treatment of hypotension or low blood pressure during an emergency or surgical setting.
Dosage recommendations will depend on the reason for taking the drug. For the treatment of breathing symptoms, it is typically taken at a dose of between 12.5 mg and 25 mg every four hours as required.
For weight loss cycles, it is typically taken at a dose of 20-30mg up to three times per day. This drug has a short half-life of 3-6 hours. It is usually consumed with a meal to minimize potential gastrointestinal side effects.
Using higher doses may be recommended on some bodybuilding websites. This is strongly cautioned against as it can increase the side effects without improving benefits.
As a fat loss agent, this drug performs best when combined with caffeine and Aspirin in an ECA stack. The recommended dosage for this stack is 200 mg of caffeine with your serving of ephedrine.
Dosages may need to be titrated based on experience. Some users are more sensitive to the effects of stimulants and experience a higher rate of adverse effects when taking more than 12 mg per dose.
It is possible to build up a tolerance to the effects of ephedrine. Users generally report needing to take higher dosages after taking this compound for long durations of time.
Increasing your dosage above 75mg per is strongly advised against due to the potential for serious adverse effects. Taking this substance in high dosages with caffeine can contribute to toxicity.
In the USA, ephedrine tablets are considered a controlled substance. However, they can be sold over-the-counter in certain approved medication formats.
OTC ephedrine products are commonly used off-label for purposes such as fat loss, energy enhancement or as study drugs and a non-prescription alternative to Adderall XR. Taking this drug for these purposes is not approved by the FDA and is associated with greater risk of abuse.
The sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine is carefully monitored around the world. Strict regulations have been enacted to prevent the use of these ephedra alkaloids as precursor chemicals in the manufacturing of illicit street drugs such as methamphetamine.
Residents of the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and other countries should be aware of local laws pertaining to the sale of this drug.
In the United States, it is still possible to purchase ephedrine and some pseudoephedrine products without a prescription in certain parts of the country. However, there are limits on how much you can buy and who can buy this drug.
One must approach the pharmacy counter to purchase it. The product must be stored in a locked cabinet away from the public and can only be accessed by a licensed pharmacist or trained staff member.
Purchasers must show a valid government identification card such as a driver’s license, and sign for the package. You may be asked to provide personal contact information and a physical address.
Pharmacists in many countries are required to closely monitor sales of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products. Manual and electronic logs must be maintained showing who purchased the products and how much has been purchased over a given period.
This information is made available to local as well as federal law enforcement agencies for tracking purposes. Buying more than the allowed amount is a felony and can result in criminal charges being filed against you.
Before buying ephedrine HCL tablets online or in stores, check with local authorities about the legal status of this drug where you live.
Dangers, Side Effects & Risks
As of 2004, ephedrine cannot be sold in dietary supplements. It can only be sold in pharmaceutical drugs that are marketed to treat breathing disorders and are manufactured to strict standards.
One of the reasons for enacting this ban was due to numerous reports of side effects. Interestingly, in controlled clinical studies, ephedrine tablets were found to be relatively well tolerated with no serious adverse effects.
However, when used without medical supervision there was a higher rate of health problems attributed to use. Research showed that many consumers were taking excessively high dosages or ingesting it in unsafe ways.
Excessively high doses of ephedrine can contribute to increased risk of:
- Anxiety and/or nervousness
- Heart palpitations
- Dizziness and/or vertigo
- Headaches and/or migraines
- Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting
- Difficulty sleeping and/or insomnia
- Excessive sweating
- Restlessness or hyperactivity
- Mood imbalances
- Fatigue or an “energy crash” after the effects wore off
Other serious side effects are also possible, including harmful changes in cardiovascular function. Among them include:
- Tachycardia (accelerated heart rate)
- Arrhythmia (irregular heart rate)
- Severe heart palpitations
- Cardiovascular dysfunction
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Risk of brain seizures
- Increased risk of stroke
Depending on where you live, there is now a limit on how much ephedrine can be included in over-the-counter asthma and nasal congestion drugs. This limit is either 8 mg, 12.5 mg or 25 mg per tablet
Individuals often take multiple pills at a time despite warnings on labels not to do so. Consuming more than the recommended amount could lead to potentially life-threatening side effects.
Dangerous adverse events can occur with long duration of use or in people with pre-existing medical conditions. Side effects may also be exacerbated by taking other stimulants, supplements or drugs.
Using ephedrine tablets with low doses of caffeine is generally well tolerated. However, high dosages of caffeine can lead to potential toxicity.
Risk of Heart Problems
One of the main concerns with over-use of stimulants is potential adverse effects on the heart and cardiovascular system. All stimulants increase the demand on the heart muscle by raising heart rate and increasing blood pressure.
Over short periods of time, this may not lead to significant problems. However, with extended use at high doses, the increased cardiovascular strain can be dangerous. People who are at risk for cardiovascular problems are warned against using stimulants like ephedrine.
Studies have evaluated the effects of dietary supplement ingredients to assess the potential for cardiotoxicity. In one study, the following ingredients were examined:
- phenylethylamine (PEA)
Higenamine is a plant compound that has a long history of usage in folklore medicine as an anti-asthmatic drug. Today it is used as a thermogenic fat burner because it shares similar effects with ephedrine
In-vitro research in a beating heart cell model (a cardiomyocyte cell line) showed that these drugs could increase beats per minute. Combinations of several of the above-listed ingredients in high doses showed the potential for causing cardiotoxicity. 
In another study, 340 rats were treated with combinations of ephedrine and caffeine. The rats experienced increased heart rate, as well as electrical conductivity of the cardiovascular muscle, in addition to increased temperature.
At extremely high doses, some of the rats experienced interstitial hemorrhage. While the dosages used in this study were many times greater than the amount typically used by humans, this result demonstrates the importance of using these substances responsibly. 
Not everyone taking oral ephedrine pills will experience side effects or adverse reactions. Using this drug in high doses, taking it in combination with other stimulants or using it inappropriately can increase the risk of negative reactions.
Common Drug Interactions
Individuals need to be aware of the potential for interactions when taking ephedrine oral tablets with other drugs or supplements. It can negatively interact with prescription medications, over-the-counter remedies, and even herbal products.
Drugs.com notes 230 moderate interactions with brand-name as well as generic drugs and 50 major interactions. If you are taking any medications for the treatment of a health condition, consult with your doctor to determine whether an interaction is possible.
The Natural Medicines Database warns not to use this compound with stimulant drugs such as phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine, and diethylpropion due to an increase the risk of hypertension and adverse cardiovascular effects.
Do not take with heart medications that prolong the QT interval as this may result in ventricular arrhythmias. Drugs in this category include amiodarone (Cordarone), disopyramide (Norpace), dofetilide (Tikosyn), ibutilide (Corvert), procainamide (Pronestyl), quinidine, sotalol (Betapace), thioridazine (Mellaril) and others.
Do not take ephedrine capsules if you are currently using Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) for the treatment of anxiety or depression. Use of this combination could increase the risk of harmful changes in blood pressure, hyperpyrexia, hallucinations, convulsions, rhabdomyolysis, and changes in urination.
Do not use this drug with dexamethasone (Decadron), diabetes medications such as glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), anticonvulsant drugs for the prevention of seizures, beta-adrenergic agonists or ergot derivatives.
Other drug interactions are possible. Check with a doctor about using this compound and make sure your physician knows about all substances you are currently using.
In addition to the warnings about interactions, a number of contraindications for use are applicable. This drug is not recommended for pregnant and nursing women because risks cannot be ruled out.
Some animal studies have shown that use of ephedrine during gestational phases can have a negative impact on fetal development. Do not take if you are planning to get pregnant.
Use of ephedrine is contraindicated for anyone taking MAO inhibitors within 14 days of usage. Do not take this compound if you are being treated for any mental health conditions including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, panic attacks, mania or others.
According to Drugs.com, use of this stimulant is contraindicated or individuals with conditions including but not limited to:
- Electrolyte imbalances or abnormalities
- Cardiovascular problems
- Renal impairment
- Angle closure glaucoma
- Ventricular arrhythmias
- Congestive heart failure
- Myocardial infarction
- Prostatic hypertrophy
Individuals may not realize they have an undiagnosed medical issue until they experience side effects. For this reason, start taking ephedrine at the lowest dosage possible to gauge the body’s reaction to it.
Discuss use of ephedrine tablets for weight loss with your physician prior to taking this medication. Use with caution if you have a history of or are being treated for cardiovascular or metabolic issues.
Ephedrine has been used by athletes, bodybuilders, and dieters for decades to promote weight loss goals. It does have potential benefits, but also comes with a risk of side effects.
While dietary supplements can no longer contain this alkaloid, synthetic ephedrine HCL and sulfate tablets are still legal in many countries. These drugs are promoted for the relief of temporary asthma symptoms and nasal congestion.
Bodybuilders will often buy legal forms of OTC ephedrine pills to make their own ECA stacks for weight loss. However, pills sold under brand names like Primatene and Bronkaid have been formulated with additives that make them less effective for fat loss.
Another option is to buy ephedra supplements, which are legal so long as they have the alkaloids (ephedrine and pseudoephedrine) removed. Manufacturers will replace these ingredients with other compounds such as Bitter Orange (p-synephrine) which has a similar mechanism of action to ephedrine.
Before deciding to take any dietary supplement for fat loss or athletic performance enhancement, read about all of the risks, safe use and how to minimize adverse effects.
- Calvert R, Vohra S, Ferguson M, Wiesenfeld P. A beating heart cell model to predict cardiotoxicity: effects of the dietary supplement ingredients higenamine, phenylethylamine, ephedrine and caffeine. Food Chem Toxicol. 2015 Apr;78:207-13. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2015.01.022. Epub 2015 Feb 12.
- Howden R, Hanlon PR, Petranka JG, Kleeberger S, Bucher J, Dunnick J, Nyska A, Murpjy E. Ephedrine plus caffeine causes age-dependent cardiovascular responses in Fischer 344 rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2005 May;288(5):H2219-24. Epub 2005 Jan 14.