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Ephedrine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: ephedrine (e-FED-rin)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Ephedrine is used for:

Treating allergy conditions, increasing blood pressure, strengthening heart contractions, treating narcolepsy and depression, and treating myasthenia gravis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Ephedrine is a vasoconstrictor. It works in various areas of the body to produce many different reactions.

Do NOT use ephedrine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in ephedrine
  • you have an adrenal gland tumor or abnormally fast heart rate

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using ephedrine:

Some medical conditions may interact with ephedrine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have glaucoma, irregular heartbeat or other heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, or low blood volume

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ephedrine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Rauwolfia alkaloids (eg, reserpine) or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the effectiveness of ephedrine may be decreased or its actions and side effects may be increased
  • Droxidopa, furazolidone, methyldopa, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), oxytocic medicines (eg, oxytocin), or urinary alkalinizers (eg, daily antacids) because the actions and side effects of ephedrine may be increased
  • Bromocriptine or cocaine because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
  • Guanethidine because its effectiveness may be decreased by ephedrine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ephedrine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use ephedrine:

Use ephedrine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Ephedrine is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using ephedrine at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If ephedrine contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of ephedrine, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ephedrine.

Important safety information:

  • Ephedrine may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to ephedrine. Using ephedrine alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Diabetes patients - Ephedrine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Ephedrine is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 2 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using ephedrine during pregnancy. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using ephedrine, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of ephedrine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Anxiety; confusion; difficulty sleeping; dizziness; headache; nausea; nervousness; pale skin; restlessness; sweating; tension; tremors; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; difficulty urinating; eye pain; hallucinations; increased irregular heartbeat; nausea; pounding in the chest; vomiting.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dilated pupils; drowsiness; irregular heartbeat; seizures; slowed or shallow breathing; vomiting.

Proper storage of ephedrine:

Store ephedrine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep ephedrine, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about ephedrine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ephedrine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take ephedrine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about ephedrine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ephedrine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using ephedrine.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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