Ephedrine is a medication and stimulant. It is often used to prevent low blood pressure during spinal anesthesia. Pseudoephedrine available. tablet and powder form are available.
What is Ephedrine?
Ephedrine is a medication and stimulant. It is often used to prevent low blood pressure during spinal anesthesia. It has also been used for asthma, narcolepsy, and obesity but is not the preferred treatment. It is of unclear benefit in nasal congestion.
An alpha- and beta-adrenergic agonist that may also enhance release of norepinephrine. It has been used in the treatment of several disorders including asthma, heart failure, rhinitis, and urinary incontinence, and for its central nervous system stimulatory effects in the treatment of narcolepsy and depression. It has become less extensively used with the advent of more selective agonists.
Dosage and Administration of Ephedrine
The usual parenteral dose is 25 to 50 mg given subcutaneously or intramuscularly. Intravenously, 5 to 25 mg may be administered slowly, repeated in 5 to 10 minutes, if necessary.
The usual subcutaneous or intramuscular dose is 0.5 mg/kg of body weight or 16.7 mg/square meter of body surface every 4 to 6 hours.
Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit.
Ephedrine Sulfate Injection, USP, 50 mg/mL, 1 mL per vial, NDC 55390-875-01
Packed 25 vials per carton. Protect from light.
Short term effects of Ephedrine
Speeds up energy levels
Large doses may cause nervousness, insomnia, headache and sweating
Your heart rate and blood pressure go up
Long terms effects
May lead to mental health problems such as psychosis or mania
You risk overdose if you take more than you are prescribed
Do not use if you are taking a type of antidepressant called SNRI’s (serotonin-nor epinephrine re-uptake inhibitors). This increases your risk of symptoms.
If you are pregnant
Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ephedrine acts on the dopamine and serotonin receptors in your brain and so you can become dependent on it. You may develop tolerance so you need to take more to get the same effect.
What help is available for Ephedrine?
Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling or psychotherapy
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in your area
Side Effects of Ephedrine
With large doses of ephedrine sulfate most patients will experience nervousness, insomnia, vertigo, headache, tachycardia, palpitation and sweating. Some patients have nausea, vomiting and anorexia. Vesical sphincter spasm may occur and result in difficult and painful urination. Urinary retention may develop in males with prostatism.
Precordial pain and cardiac arrhythmias may occur following administration of Ephedrine Sulfate Injection, USP.
Drug Abuse And Dependence of Ephedrine
Prolonged abuse of Ephedrine Sulfate Injection, USP can lead to symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. When this occurs, patients exhibit such physical signs as tachycardia, poor nutrition and hygiene, fever, cold sweat and dilated pupils.
Some measure of tolerance may develop with prolonged or excessive use but addiction does not occur. Temporary cessation of medication and subsequent readministration restores its effectiveness.