Is the original Xenadrine RFA-1 diet pill with ephedra still available?
Xenadrine is the brand name for a popular weight loss supplement that is purported to boost energy and enhance metabolism.
This supplement was previously marketed as containing real ephedrine alkaloids from the Ma Huang (Ephedra Sincia) plant.
Xenadrine RFA-1 provided an ECA stack (ephedra/caffeine/aspirin stack) with guarana extract, white willow bark and synephrine from bitter orange. This product was promoted at the best-selling fat-burner in North America but is no longer legal to buy.
Following the 2004 ban on the sale of dietary supplements with ephedrine by the FDA, the original Xenadrine RFA-1 formulation had to be recalled and removed from store shelves.
Currently, there are two products sold under this brand name, Xenadrine Nextgen and Xenadrine Ultimate. However, neither contain ephedra or ephedrine as this ingredient has been banned in the USA by the FDA. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Xenadrine RFA-1with Ephedra
The original Xenadrine RFA-1 with ephedra was reported to be effective for promoting fat loss and increasing energy levels.
This product was manufactured and sold by Cytodyne Technologies, Inc. It contained three primary ingredients that were clinically studied to promote significant weight loss results in short periods of time.
Xenadrine RFA-1 included 335 mg of Ma Huang or Chinese ephedra, providing 20 mg of standardized ephedrine alkaloid. This product also contained 105 mg of white willow bark (similar to Aspirin) and 910 mg of Guarana Extract, which is a source of caffeine.
This makes Xenadrine an ECA stack, which is a combination of synergistic ingredients shown to be more effective than taking ephedra on its own.
Other ingredients in this supplement include Bitter Orange (a source of synephrine), Vitamin B5, Ginger Root and a “Proprietary Thermo Synergist Blend”.
This supplement is purported to promote weight loss and increase metabolism by stimulating the body to produce more heat. It is a thermogenic aid that cause your cells to burn more calories and increases your core temperature.
Thermogenesis is a significant component of your basal metabolic rate. The thermogenic effect refers to the burning of glucose or fat as fuel to raise your core body temperature. By increasing this thermic activity, you can burn more calories even when you are not working out.
It is believed that enhancing thermogenesis can accelerate weight loss because it increases calorie burn. Researchers have found that use of ephedra supplements can boost metabolism by 5 – 10%.
While this effect alone will not cause you to lose large amounts of weight in short periods of time, it may be beneficial for kick-starting a fat loss program.
It should be noted that Xenadrine with ephedra extract, or any weight-loss supplement, should be combined with adequate exercise plus a nutritious, balanced diet to support long-term weight management goals.
The ingredients in this supplement may be effective stimulants, but the degree to which they enhance metabolism, thermogenesis, or weight-loss are varied depending on individual body composition.
Xenadrine Banned by the FDA
In the 1970s – 1990s, products like Xenadrine RFA-1 were very popular due to their reputation for triggering rapid weight loss and boosts of energy.
Many of these products were used by competitive athletes to enhance physical performance. They were also taken by millions of Americans to achieve fat loss.
While ephedra diet pills have the potential to support diet goals, they also pose a risk of serious side effects. The FDA reported that thousands of calls to poison control centers were made regarding adverse effects from this substance.
One of the primary ingredients in ephedra products of the past, including the original Xenadrine, was the alkaloid ephedrine. Ephedrine acts much like amphetamine to the nervous system, stimulating release of catecholamines such as dopamine and norepinephrine inside the brain.
Ephedrine increases activation of receptors that control the sympathetic nervous system. The SNS controls functions such as breathing, heart rate, digestion, and metabolism.
Components of ephedra, primarily ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, behave as non-selective alpha and beta receptor agonists. An agonist is something that triggers or initiates a chemical reaction in the body.
The alkaloids of ephedra were capable of stimulating (directly and indirectly) the sympathetic nervous system. Because such components were often misused and abused, individuals had a potential of experiencing a number of very negative side effects such as heart palpitations, tachycardia. Some even experienced life-threatening cardiovascular events like myocardial infarction.
Xenadrine RFA-1 was thrust into the spotlight in 2003 when it was found that Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler had died of heat stroke during spring training. Bechler was found to have used Xenadrine diet pills and a coroner cited this as a contributing factor in his death.
According to researchers at Baylor University, it was unlikely that the use of this product contributed to his death and that there were other factors like his high blood pressure and liver abnormalities that likely played a larger role. However, by this time the media has already blamed the Xenadrine ephedra supplement as the reason he passed away.
In 2004, use of ephedra weight-loss and energy-boosting products was banned in the United States because of the dangers associated with ephedrine and pseudoephedrine alkaloids.
The original Xenadrine RFA-1 product was pulled from the market and recalled worldwide. Today, many of the original ephedra products have been “revamped” and are still prevalently found on store shelves.
For example, the new versions of the Xenadrine supplement contain coffee extract as their primary ingredient. There are also other products that contain ephedra extract that purport to be newer versions of the original Xenadrine formulation.
Since 2004, ephedra extract products in the United States continue to be legal although carefully monitored. However, the ephedra alkaloids, primarily ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, are no longer allowed in dietary or nutritional supplements. It is these alkaloids that give ephedra its physiological effects.
Xenadrine Ephedra Ingredients
The original Xenadrine RFA-1 was promoted as a “Rapid Fat Loss Catalyst” that could reduce body fat mass and improve obesity when used responsibly.
This formula was well-researched and had multiple clinical studies showing it was effective and safe if taken appropriately.
According to one study, “Over the 12-week trial, subjects on the active treatment experienced significantly greater weight loss than subjects on placebo, without an increase in blood pressure, pulse, or the rate of adverse events. These benefits were achieved in the absence of any lifestyle treatment to change dietary or exercise behavior and with lower doses of ephedrine alkaloids and caffeine than those commonly utilized.”
The ingredients in the original version of Xenadrine with ephedrine varied depending on where you lived. Below is the formulation used in the United States, but residents of Canada were sold a different version.
|Active Ingredients||Amount Per Serving|
|Bitter orange (Source of Synephrine)||85 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)||40 mg|
|Ma Huang (Standardized to 20mg of Ephedrine)||335 mg|
|Guarana Extract (Source of Caffeine)||910 mg|
|White Willow Bark (Source of Salicin)||105 mg|
|Ginger Root||50 mg|
|Proprietary Thermo-Synergist Blend (L-Tyrosine, L-Carnitine, Fisetin, Magnesium Phosphate, DMAE)||225 mg|
This supplement was typically taken at a dosage of 2 capsules per day. It was recommended to start at one capsule per day and to increase the dose only after using it without adverse effects.
The maximum recommended dose was three tablets per day. Using more than this amount was warned to increase the risk of adverse effects.
The product also contained label warnings stating that it was not suggested for anyone with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid, or liver disease.
Where to Buy Xenadrine with Ephedra
Xenadrine with ephedra is no longer legal to buy in the United States. The original Xenadrine RFA-1 supplement was recalled from store shelves in the USA and around the world.
While there are some products marketed as new versions of the original Xenadrine RFA-1 pills, these are not the same as the original formulation. Following the banning of this product, the original manufacturer Cytodyne filed for bankruptcy and sold the brand to MuscleTech.
There are a number of counterfeit Xenadrine ephedra products currently for sale online. These products claim to be the real thing, but they are often sold by international vendors.
Before purchasing any form of Xenadrine with ephedrine found on the Internet, perform due diligence in regard to the manufacturer. Some of these websites lack adequate information either on ingredient labels or information on where the product is coming from.
Whenever possible, look to the label ingredients. Stay away from products that don’t contain an adequate list of ingredients as well as the milligram or microgram strength. In cases where “proprietary” blends are listed, dig a little deeper if possible to determine what components and how those blends are constructed.
Note that MuscleTech now sells a new line of Xenadrine fat burners, but they do not contain any real ephedra or ephedrine alkaloids. The active ingredients in these newer products is C. canephora robusta.
You can buy this product on the official Xenadrine website or on Amazon, GNC, Walmart, eBay and from a number of other legitimate retailers.
There are also a number of products that claim to be new legal alternatives to Xenadrine RFA-1. For example, Megadrine and Superdrine are two ephedra extract products that purport to have the same list of ingredients.
However, neither of these products contain real ephedrine alkaloids. They are not produced by the same manufacturer as the original Xenadrine RFA-1 product either. Instead, they contain a legal form of ephedra extract and can be purchased without restriction in the United States.
These products are sold by the following retailers:
- Ephedra Warehouse
- Ephedra Outlet
Xenadrine RFA-1 Side Effects
Products containing ephedra or its alkaloids pose a serious risk of side effects and can cause dangerous adverse reactions in some users.
Not everyone will experience side effects, but it’s important to know what to watch for. Side effects may be mild and disappear within hours of discontinuing, while others can be more serious and lead to long-term complications.
Among the more common side effects associated with ephedra and ephedrine products include:
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Jitters or hand tremors
- A feeling of hyper-alertness
- Brain fog or inability to focus or concentrate
- Confusion or disorientation
- Difficulty sleeping
- High blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
When taken with food and water, the potential for nausea declines, but not for everyone. In some severe cases, vomiting is also a possibility.
An accelerated heart rate can be a common side effect of Xenadrine with ephedra. The effect should disappear within a short time, but if it persists for more than a few hours and this is not typical for you, consult a physician.
Ephedrine is a stimulant and can disrupt sleeping patterns and cause insomnia. It is recommended that no energy pill be taken after mid-afternoon to avoid this unpleasant and often frustrating side effect.
Other prescription as well as over-the-counter drugs and herbal products can interact with Xenadrine with ephedra. The same goes for the caffeine and synephrine often included in such products. 
Use of this product is not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women due to lack of information regarding the possible effects on the developing fetus or infant.
Other severe side effects including potentially hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic effects have been associated with anti-obesity herbal products. 
Long-term use or taking higher than recommended doses of any ephedra containing product may be associated with psychological and physiological dependence as well as adverse reactions. 
A number of dietary supplements have been marketed as newer alternatives to the now-banned Xenadrine RFA-1 product.
MuscleTech, who now owns the Xenadrine trademark, has several new ephedra-free products sold under this name including Xenadrine XT Xtreme Thermogenic, Xenadrine NextGen, Xenadrine Core Pre-Workout and Xenadrine Ultimate.
None of these supplements contains ephedrine alkaloids or ephedra extract. The active ingredients found in these products include caffeine, yohimbine, garcinia cambogia extract and more.
In addition to the authorized forms of ephedra-free alternatives, there are also a number of unauthorized replacements that purport to provide the same ingredients as the original Xenadrine RFA-1 pills.
The two most popular include Megadrine RFA-1 and Superdrine RX-10, manufactured by American Generic Laboratories (AGL).
Megadrine RFA-1 Advanced Thermogenic Complex is promoted as a Maximum Strength Ephedra Extract supplement that provides many of the same effects as the original.
According to one retailer website. “If you loved Xenadrine RFA-1 then you will be amazed at how close Megadrine RFA-1 is to the original fat loss pill.”
Note that this supplement is legal because it does not contain real ephedrine alkaloids. Instead, it provides a version of ephedra extract that has these alkaloids removed. The other ingredients found in this supplement are similar to Xenadrine and include:
- Ephedra Extract 10mg
- Bitter Orange (Synephrine)
- Guarana Extract (Caffeine)
- White Willow Bark Extract (Salicin)
- Ginger Root
- Magnesium Phosphate
- Green Tea Extract
- Acetyl L-Tyrosine
- Acacia Rigidula Extract
- Phenylethylamine HCL
- Yohimbe Extract (Yohimbine)
Another legal alternative is Superdrine Rx-10, which also contains ephedra extract with the ephedrine alkaloids removed. This makes it legal to sell in the United States under FDA policy.
This product is marketed as an energy booster, an appetite suppressant, and a metabolism enhancer that leads to accelerated weight loss. It contains:
- 20 mg ephedra leaf extract
- 85 mg Bitter Orange (standardized to 5 mg synephrine)
- 910 mg Guarana extract (standardized to 200 mg caffeine)
Bitter Orange, otherwise known as Citrus Aurantium, is plant extract that contains p-Synephrine, which stimulates the central nervous system in a very similar way to ephedrine. A number of ephedra extract supplements have replaced their ephedrine content with synephrine because of the similarity in their effects.
Other ingredients include 300 mg of a proprietary thermogenic blend that contains white willow bark extract, amino acids, minerals, green tea extract, and other herbs.
User reviews suggest that these supplements can have some of the same benefits as the original Xenadrine RFA-1 product. However, you should not take these diet pills expecting the same results as real ephedra supplements because they do not contain any actual ephedrine alkaloids.
Despite the associated dangers of using products with ephedra alkaloids, they continue to be some of the most sought-after dietary supplements in the United States and international markets.
Xenadrine RFA-1 was a clinically studied fat burner with positive effects on energy levels, appetite control and fat loss. However, it was associated with a risk of serious negative effects and was removed from the marketplace.
In 2004, the FDA banned ephedrine alkaloids from appearing in dietary supplements in the USA. There are new ephedra-free versions of Xenadrine that you can buy online as well as a number of ephedra extract supplements that purport to be new alternatives to the original product.
When researching a specific weight loss product to use, take the time to read about the primary ingredients and understand the risk of side effects.
Adverse effects are possible with any diet pill and responsible use is necessary to minimize the risk. Always start at the lowest dosage to gauge how the body will react to the components.
If you have been diagnosed with any kind of medical condition, metabolic disorder, or endocrine issue, consult with a physician or your pharmacist before taking. Even the newer forms of Xenadrine fat loss supplements can result in negative effects if used improperly.
- Bush TM, Rayburn KS, Holloway SW, Sanchez-Yamamoto DS, Allen BL, Lam T, So BK, Tran de H, Greyber ER, Kantor S, Roth LW. Adverse interactions between herbal and dietary substances and prescription medication: a clinical survey. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Mar-Apr;13(2):30-5.
- Chan TY. Potential risks associated with the use of herbal anti-obesity products. Drug Saf. 2009;32(6):453-6. doi: 10.2165/00002018-200932060-00002.
- F. Saverio Bersani, Marialuce Coviello, Claudio Imperatori, Marta Francesconi, Christina M. Hough, Giuseppe Valeriani, Gianfranco De Stefano, Flaminia Bolzan Mariotti Posocco, Rita Santacroce, Amedeo Minichino, Orenlla Corazza. Adverse Psychiatric Effects Associated with Herbal Weight-Loss Products. Journal List. Biomed Res Int. v. 2015; PMC4589574