Ephedrine for Weight Loss- How EFFECTIVE is it Really?

Ephedrine for Weight LossIs using ephedrine for weight loss effective?

Research shows definitively that this alkaloid from the ephedra plant can boost your metabolism and support fat loss.

In one research study, an individual lost 145 lb. over 13 months with the help of ephedrine and a low-calorie diet.

Ephedrine works by suppressing the appetite while increase your energy levels and desire to be active. It also enhances thermogenic activity, which contributes to more calories being burned.

A meta-review of 20 different clinical studies shows that ephedrine can boost weight loss in a short period of time. This analysis was published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In double-blind studies, it has been shown to promote weight reduction of 1.3 pounds per month more than a placebo. The weight loss results can be increased to 2.2 pounds per month when combined with caffeine.

These results have been shown independent of diet and exercise, which means that ephedrine can increase fat loss even if you do not reduce your calories or increase your activity level.

However, you can no longer buy ephedrine in diet pills in the United States. It was banned due to a risk of side effects. What can you use instead and is it still legal to buy ephedra supplements to burn body fat? Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.

  Ephedra Fat Burners

Ephedrine for Weight Loss

Taking ephedrine for weight loss is still considered to be one of the most effective fat burners of all time. Prior to 2004, it was available over-the-counter in the United States as a dietary supplement.

Ephedrine is believed to help overweight and obese individuals lose weight by raising their metabolism. Your metabolic rate describes the rate at which your body converts the food you eat into energy.

Using this weight loss supplement causes you to burn more calories all day long, even when at rest. It does this by stimulating the nervous system and increasing thermogenesis.

Thermogenesis is the chemical process by which stored fat and calories get converted into body heat. When you take ephedrine, your body begins to generate more heat, which causes it to expend more calories

This naturally-derived compound also causes your appetite to be reduced. Some users report feeling little to no desire to eat when taking ephedrine pills. Others say it reduces their need to snack during the day and makes them feel full faster.

Finally, ephedrine has a strong effect on activity levels and desire to move. It can increase motivation to work out and make people feel less fatigued.

All of these effects combined together can make it easier to drop body fat. This is why ephedra supplements became popular with everyone from hardcore bodybuilders to everyday individuals who wanted to get into better shape.

Research studies back up the efficacy of oral ephedrine tablets for weight loss. When used alone, it can promote modest increases in weight reduction averaging from 0.6 to 1.0 kg per month. [1]

If taken in combination with caffeine in an EC stack, the results are more significant. Users can also lose more weight if they commit to a healthy diet and exercise program while taking the product.

Note that ephedrine has only been studied as a short-term diet pill. It is not intended for long-term use in the treatment of overweightness or obesity. This product was only recommended to kick-start a diet plan, but lifestyle changes are needed to maintain results.

How Much Weight Can you Lose on Ephedrine?

What is the expected weight loss that you can experience when using ephedrine pills in a month or in a year? Before and after results show that some very significant changes in body composition are possible.

The amount of weight you will lose will depend on how you are taking the compound, your lifestyle, any dietary changes you make, and how active you are. It will also depend considerably on your current body fat ratio as individuals who are heavier will have more weight to lose.

One study of 24 obese individuals showed the large range in potential results. In the eight-week study, participants took 75mg to 150 mg of ephedrine HCl, 150 mg caffeine and 330 mg aspirin in divided doses before meals.

Over the eight-week study period, the average individual on the ECA stack lost 2.2kg of bodyweight or 4.85 lb. Six participants continued using the stack for 5 months and had lost 5.2 kg (11.4 lb.) by the end.

In this study, one individual continued to take the ECA stack for 13 months. At the end of the trial, he had lost 66 kg (145.5 lb.) while using the stack and dieting.

Not everyone will experience the same before and after results when using any diet pill. Individual factors will affect your results and can account for differences in average weight loss.

  Ephedra Extract For Sale

How Does it Affect the Body?

The primary mechanism of action for ephedrine on the human body is to stimulate the nervous system so that you burn more calories. It is often classified as a sympathomimetic amine.

This means that it increases activity in the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which is part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This system controls bodily functions that we ourselves cannot control including:

  • Central nervous system function; including the brain.
  • Cardiovascular system; responsible for heart rate, pumping function, blood pressure.
  • Digestive system; how nutrients are broken down and used in the body.
  • Metabolism; how energy is produced in cells.

The SNS activates the fight or flight response, which is the physiological reaction that occurs when we perceive stress, impending harm or danger. This response prepares our body to deal with a potential threat to survival by making more energy available, increasing vigilance and enhancing blood flow.

Ephedrine is a trigger or agonist for alpha and beta-adrenergic receptors that in turn promote release of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a catecholamine neurotransmitter that is related to adrenaline.

It causes a number of changes in the body such as:

  • Increase motivation
  • Accelerated heart rate and lung contractions
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • Inhibition of stomach activity and slowing of digestive processes
  • Increasing breakdown of fatty acids into energy
  • Shaking, restlessness, nervousness

Norepinephrine also has an ability to stimulate nerve fibers which can increase contractions as well as forcefulness of skeletal muscle as well as that of the heart muscle.

When you consume ephedrine, it causes vasoconstriction or narrowing of blood vessels, which in turn increases blood pressure. It also influences the heart muscle, which beats harder and faster to pump the blood throughout the body.

In addition to this, airways in your lungs dilate and you begin to take in more oxygen which gets circulated throughout the body. This oxygen is needed to fuel cellular metabolism.

All of these changes can have an effect on weight loss by increasing your basal metabolic rate. Research shows that ephedrine can increase metabolism by 4-10% over a short period of time.

This causes you to expend more energy and burn fat. The effect is reliably repeated in many different individuals but will be most significant in obese people who have more fat to lose.

History of Use

Ephedrine is one of the several primary alkaloids found in the ephedra plant species. This plant has been prescribed in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years.

Ephedrine is not the only alkaloid isolated from this plant, but it is the one that promotes the majority of the physiological effects linked to this herb. Other alkaloids found in this plant include:

  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Norephedrine
  • Methylephedrine
  • Methylpseudoephedrine
  • Norpseudoephedrine

Ephedra plants grow in various locations around the world. In folk medicine practices, was used mainly to treat lung conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and sinus congestion. It was also used to alleviate symptoms of rheumatism, fever, and the common cold.

This herb is best-known today for its use as a slimming agent, but traditional herbalists did not recognize weight loss as a potential benefit of ephedra. When the ephedrine alkaloid was first isolated from the plant, it was initially developed as an asthma medication and not a diet pill. [2]

Ephedrine HCL first became popular as a weight loss aid in Denmark where it was used to treat obesity. Doctors in this country discovered that patients using the drug as a bronchodilator began to lose weight unexpectedly.

It was sold under the brand name Letigen, which provided 20 mg synthetic ephedrine with 200 mg of caffeine. From the period between 1995 – 2002, there were 257,364 patients in Denmark prescribed this EC stack to reduce bodyweight.

Research shows that when used under doctor supervision, the compound was safe and effective for weight loss. One study reported that, “Our main finding was that prescription of an ephedrine/caffeine product was not associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes.”

However, it was eventually pulled from the market in Denmark, the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries due to fears about side effects.

In 2004, the FDA issued a ruling that made it illegal to sell dietary supplements that contain ephedra or ephedrine due to potential cardiovascular side effects.

  ECA Stack

Medical Use

While ephedrine can no longer be promoted for weight loss, it is legal to sell as a drug for the treatment of breathing conditions and nasal congestion. In the USA, it can be purchased over-the-counter as a remedy for coughing, congestion and other breathing disorders.

Ephedrine hydrochloride (HCl) is a synthetic form of the drug used in oral tablets for rhinitis, asthma, chest tightness and wheezing. It is sometimes formulated in mist inhalers or liquid nasal drops.

It has been used in nebulizers, a device given to individuals undergoing treatment for severe lung issues such as severe asthma, bronchitis, COPD, or emphysema.

Another form is ephedrine sulfate, sometimes given via injection. This drug is used in the treatment of hypotension (low blood pressure) in emergency or surgical environments.

In oral tablet form, this drug is commonly combined with guaifenesin which is an expectorant and muscle relaxant. Medications such as Primatene and Bronkaid contain this combination of ingredients and can be purchased without a prescription in some states.

Availability of this drug differs depending on location. There are different laws in countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia or New Zealand.

Because of potential side effects, the use of ephedrine as a component in many medications has been discontinued. It has been replaced with other ingredients that provide similar effects without the same health risks.

Results with Caffeine

How does ephedrine work for weight loss when combined with caffeine? These two substances are synergistic, which means they can promote faster weight loss results if you take them in combination.

Caffeine is a methylxanthine compound that exerts its own stimulatory effects by inhibiting the actions of adenosine in the nervous system. Theophylline from tea also has a similar mechanism of action.

Bodybuilders first began using the EC stack to increase fat burning and athletic performance in the 1970’s. This combination can increase the thermogenic effects for a user, making the weight loss benefits stronger.

Several studies have examined the combination of ephedrine or ephedra alkaloids with caffeine. In one study of eight healthy adults, participants received one dose of 20 mg ephedrine alkaloids in combination with 200 mg caffeine after fasting overnight.

The results showed that individuals taking this compound in an EC stack experienced almost twice as much weight loss compared to using it on its own. There was a “significant” cardiovascular responses, including a prolonged half-life, increase in systolic blood pressure, and increased heart rate. [3]

Used in an EC stack, this drug can promote weight loss averaging 0.9 kg per month over those taking a placebo. [4] These results have been maintained over a six-month period.

No large-scale studies have extended beyond six months. Some small studies have shown long-term benefits, but it is generally not recommended to continue taking for extended durations due to the increased risk of side effects with long-term use.

ECA Stack Supplements

Ephedrine supplements promoted for weight loss in the USA typically contained an ECA stack along with other fat-burning ingredients. ECA stands for ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin.

Aspirin was added to this stack to potentiate the results, but also to prevent some side effects. This drug is widely used to minimize the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Bodybuilders would typically design their ephedrine weight loss cycle by purchasing each of these ingredients individually and then stacking them in their preferred dosage ratio to lose weight.

It was also possible to buy pre-formulated weight loss pills with these ingredients. Prior to the 2004 ban on ephedrine in dietary supplements, there were multiple products sold under brand names like Lipodrene, Metabolife 356, Xenadrine RFA-1 and Hydroxycut.

Currently, ephedrine is not legal in supplements, but ephedra extract is. This extract must come from a version of the plant that does not contain the banned ephedrine alkaloids. These products will typically combine ephedra with other ingredients that can mimic some of the effects of the stimulatory alkaloids.

In ECA stack products, one of the most common forms of caffeine used is a synthetic powdered version known as caffeine anhydrous. Stacks would also contain guarana seed extract, yerba mate, caffeine citrate, kola nut, green tea extract or other natural sources of caffeine.

Aspirin is not found in dietary supplements because it is a synthetic drug. Instead, white willow bark is a natural ingredient that would commonly be substituted for aspirin.

Other supplements that may be combined with ephedra extract to boost fat loss results include:

  • Citrus aurantium (p-synephrine)
  • Green coffee extract
  • Yohimbine (Yohimbe)
  • Theobromine
  • Coleus forskohlii extract
  • Rauwolscine
  • Ginger root extract
  • 5-HTP

Safe Dosages for Fat Loss

What is the safest dosage to take of ephedrine for fat loss? In research studies, this compound is typically taken at a dose of 20 mg to 24 mg, three times a day.

Higher dosages of 50 mg have been used, not to exceed 150 mg per day to reduce the likelihood of negative side effects. However, even at low doses adverse effects are possible and steps should be taken to minimize potential health risks. [5]

It is recommended to begin using this stack by taking a low dose of 8-12.5 mg for two to three days. This will allow the body to adjust to the increased CNS stimulation. Gradually raise the dosage to the full amount over a week.

Users will often take the ECA stack in a fasted state (without a meal) so they can lose weight faster. Some individuals find that taking it on an empty stomach results in more side effects. If you experience adverse gastrointestinal side effects, you may want to take it with a small meal.

Users will sometimes take ephedrine with l-tyrosine, which is an amino acid that has appetite suppressant effects. It may also be combined with yohimbine in an ECY stack.

In the United States, you can no longer buy ephedrine weight loss or energy pills. You can buy this product as a drug for the treatment of certain breathing disorders, however manufacturers are not allowed to use a pure form of the chemical.

In Canada, ephedrine alkaloids are allowed in nasal decongestant products, but at no more than an 8 mg dose with a maximum daily intake of 32 mg.

When taken appropriately, such dosages are generally well tolerated. However, different people will react differently to the effects and not everyone will have a positive result.

Using other sources of caffeine alongside your ephedrine pills can also increase the potential for negative effects. Note that use of high doses of caffeine can cause side effects independent of other substances being used.

The FDA has sent warning letters to distributors of bulk caffeine powders stating that their products posed an unreasonable risk of side effects if overused.

Pre-workout supplements often contain large amounts of caffeine and can lead to adverse cardiovascular or neurological effects. Users should not take more than 200 mg caffeine per dose and should avoid consuming more than 400 mg per day.

Also note that any weight loss supplement should be used in conjunction with an appropriate, nutritious diet and exercise for optimal results.

Harmful Side Effects

Ephedrine was pulled from the market in 2004 after the FDA determined that its use posed an unreasonable risk of adverse effects.

While effective for weight loss, it became associated with a potential for serious cardiovascular events when taken in high doses or used by people at risk of heart problems.

Based on data from the NIH study, “No serious adverse events (death, myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular/stroke events, seizure, or serious psychiatric events) were reported in the clinical trials.”

However, participants in clinical trials usually are screened for health before being allowed to take the supplement. They also use it at appropriate dosages for short periods of time.

When used properly, ephedrine may be safe for fat loss. But the FDA ruled that it was often misused or abuse for body weight reduction goals, causing too high a risk for negative effects.

A number of side effects have been associated with ephedrine due to its similarity in its mechanism of action to adrenaline. Some negative reactions are temporary while other can lead to long-term health problems. [6]

According to the NIH report, use of this fat burner an increase the risk of psychiatric, autonomic, or gastrointestinal side effects as well as heart palpitations by 2.2 to 3.6-fold.

Some of the common side effects of ephedrine usage include symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased urination
  • Excessive perspiration
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Increased anxiety or nervousness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperactivity
  • Jitters or tremors
  • Feeling flushed or hot

Among the more serious side effects include reports of:

  • Seizures
  • Strokes (linked to elevated blood pressure)
  • Emotional distress (psychosis or mania)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Lack of muscle control (ataxia)
  • Lethargy

The more serious side effects occur at a higher frequency among individuals using elevated dosages or combining ephedrine with other stimulants such as caffeine, bitter orange, yohimbine and others.

Adverse effects are also more likely to occur in people with pre-existing health conditions or anyone with a low tolerance for stimulants. If you experience adverse effects when consuming high dosages of caffeine, you will likely have a similar reaction to ephedrine.

Negative effects are more likely at high dosages but can occur even when taking low doses with or without caffeine. Most serious side effects have occurred in people with pre-exiting medical conditions or among those combining the drug with other stimulants.

However, there have been alarming side effects reported in individuals under 30 years of age who were otherwise healthy and had no undiagnosed medical conditions.


Not everyone can safely take ephedrine. There are many contraindications for use that individuals should be aware of. Anyone who wants to take this supplement for weight loss should check with their doctor first before using.

This product is not appropriate for pregnant and nursing women and is not intended for use by individuals under 18 years of age. If you have been diagnosed with any cardiovascular, hormonal, or metabolic conditions, consult with a physician prior to use.

Check with a doctor before using if you currently take a prescription, over the counter, or herbal medications. Ask your doctor about possible interactions with other supplements.

Individuals diagnosed with mental issues or taking antidepressants or antianxiety medications should not use this drug due to a risk of interactions. Do not take within 14 days of using an MAOI drug.

Additional interactions can occur in individuals using anticonvulsant drugs, medications that prolong the QT interval, beta-adrenergic agonists, medications used to treat diabetes, and stimulant drugs.

Individuals who are sensitive to caffeine should also use with extreme caution due to the stimulant effects.


Ephedrine does work for weight loss and its use as a diet pill is well researched. However, it should not be used as a long-term intervention as it may cause serious side effects.

It can help to activate beta adrenergic receptors, increasing lipolysis, metabolic rate and inhibiting appetite. This can make it easier for individuals to lose weight over short periods of time.

Using this substance in an ECA stack or EC stack without aspirin can improve results. There are other supplements that can be combined with ephedrine as well to enhance its fat-burning effects.

Individuals who want to maintain their weight loss results should adapt a healthy lifestyle, along with sensible eating habits and calorie intake. Exercise is also important for overall health as well as long-term body weight reduction goals.

Before using any ephedrine or ephedra supplement, research its legal status in your country of residence. Buying products online from a foreign source and having them shipped to your home may be risky and illegal.

If you are an athlete involved in the NCAA or other competitive sporting association, be aware that use of this substance is banned. Refer to the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee before taking any performance-enhancing product.

  Ephedra Fat Burners
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