Top Ephedrine Drug Uses – Medicinal and Off-Label Usage
Ephedrine is a pharmaceutical drug that is commonly used in the treatment of breathing disorders, nasal congestion, asthma and allergy symptoms.
This phytochemical is an alkaloid derived from the Ephedra Sinica Plant. Ephedrine HCL refers to the synthetic version of this ingredient which is typically found in medicinal products.
Ephedrine acts as a stimulant on the sympathetic nervous system. It is a bronchodilator and decongestant that can provide temporary relief from chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing.
Products containing ephedrine have not been approved for use as obesity treatments, energy pills, weight loss aids or fat burning supplements. This drug is commonly used off-label as a diet aid, but may cause significant risk of harmful side effects. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Ephedrine Drug Uses
Therapeutic indications for the use of synthetic Ephedrine HCL vary from country to country and product to product. It is commonly indicated for the relief of nasal congestion, intermittent asthma symptoms, bronchitis and chest congestion.
Ephedrine is classified as a nonselective adrenergic agonist, which means it can stimulate adrenergic receptors throughout the body. These are nerve receptors that typically respond to the hormone adrenaline.
Ephedrine is a sympathomimetic compound that can increase activation of the sympathetic nervous system. This system regulates primary body functions including heart rate, respiration, and digestion.
This medication works by increasing activation of alpha and beta-adrenergic receptors in various parts of the body. This compound is metabolized into norephedrine, which also acts as a sympathomimetic amine and prompts the release of norepinephrine.
Norepinephrine is defined as an organic catecholamine that acts as both hormone and neurotransmitter in the body. It has a similar structure and mechanism of action to adrenaline.
Oral ephedrine pills have been observed to:
- Trigger constriction of blood vessels in certain parts of the body, which in turn increases blood pressure
- Increases heart rate and force of contractions of the heart muscle
- Dilate airway passages, increasing oxygenation
- Act as an overall stimulant to the central nervous system, increasing energy metabolism
- Promote thermogenesis or heat production,
Ephedrine from the ephedra sinica plant has been used in traditional medicine practices for many hundreds of years. It is considered to be one of the foundational herbs used in Chinese medicine.
In folklore medical practices, ephedra plant extracts have been prescribed to treat lung and breathing issues from the common cold to bronchitis. In the 1940’s, it was introduced to the United States as a bronchodilator medication to relieve symptoms of asthma.
Due to improved development of newer drugs, medications containing ephedrine have been gradually phased out in many countries. This drug has been replaced with other pharmaceutical agents deemed safer for use in medical scenarios.
Asthma and Nasal Decongestion
Use of ephedrine for the treatment of asthma and nasal blockages can help to relieve symptoms, especially in conjunction with the ingredient guaifenesin.
This drug can alleviate symptoms of an asthma attack such as tightness in the chest, wheezing and shortness of breath. It can also improve mucus buildup in the lungs and decreased oxygen intake.
A number of over-the-counter bronchodilator products contain low-dose ephedrine for asthma treatments. These products are not available everywhere. Some brand names include:
- Primatene tablets
- Vasopro Ephedrine HCL
Ephedrine triggers beta-2 adrenergic receptors in smooth muscle tissues commonly found in the bronchial airways of the lungs. These receptors stimulate the airways to widen or dilate, allowing for easier intake of oxygen.
This drug can also reduce swelling and inflammation in blood vessels in the nasal passages. By causing hese blood vessels to constrict, ephedrine can relieve sinus pressure and nasal congestion, allowing patients to breath more easily.
Common Ephedrine Uses
Research has documented a number of medicinal benefits from the use of ephedrine-based drugs. However, this stimulant also poses a high risk of dangerous side effects.
Few medications sold today contain ephedrine due to the prevalence of its misuse and abuse for nonmedical purposes.
One of the most widespread off-label uses of ephedrine medications today is for weight loss and energy enhancement. Many of the benefits associated with use of this drug are purported to have positive effects for bodybuilders and athletes.
The increased circulation and airway dilation that occurs when taking this drug can boost delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscles. Bodybuilders commonly use ephedrine pills as pre-workout energy boosters to increase stamina and promote greater exercise intensity.
This compound also boosts basal metabolic rate and has been well-documented to promote fat loss and body weight reduction. When used in conjunction with caffeine, it has been shown to promote 2.2 lb. of additional weight loss per month over a placebo.
It is also used as a nootropic cognitive enhancer or smart drug. Many online reviews compare the effects of ephedrine favorably to Adderall, citing increased focus, motivation and mental clarity.
Finally, ephedrine has been used recreationally to produce a “high” effect. Some marketers previously sold this ingredient as “Herbal Ecstasy”, citing mood enhancing benefits.
Ephedrine has been shown to increase dopaminergic activity in the brain. Use of high doses to promote a “buzzed” sensation can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious health consequences.
Using ephedrine for any off-label purpose is strongly discouraged by medical practitioners due to the risk of overuse, misuse, and abuse.
Side Effects of Ephedrine Usage
Ephedrine HCL may cause serious side effects in some users. Not everyone will experience adverse reactions, but some people have had life-threatening reactions to this drug.
There have been hundreds of reports of negative effects from ephedrine-based medicines submitted to the US FDA. Many case studies have been published in medical journals around the world describing serious adverse reactions linked to off-label uses of this drug.
Some of the possible side effects of this drug can include dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, increased perspiration, restlessness, increased urination, loss of appetite, muscle tremor, stomach irritation, sleeplessness, anxiety, irritability or chest tightness.
More serious adverse reactions are possible including heart palpitations, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, seizure, psychosis and even death.
Dosages used, the presence of other stimulants, frequency of use, sensitivity to stimulants and health status can affect whether or not you have a negative reaction. Do not combine this drug with other medications before first consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition or are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, check with your doctor before using this product. Individuals who are currently taking MAOI drugs for anxiety or depression should not use this product.
Many athletes and dieters combine ephedrine use with other stimulants such as Bitter Orange, high doses of caffeine, and other herbal supplements to improve results. This can increase the risk of side effects and adverse events such as potential cardiovascular damage.
While this product is legal without a prescription in the United States, consumer should be aware that there are strict regulations put in place to control the sale of oral ephedrine HCL drugs. Be sure to research local state laws before you decide to buy any medications that contain this ingredient.