Generic Name: ephedrine (e-FED-rin)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.
Ephedrine capsules are used for:
Relieving congestion due to colds, flu, hay fever, and allergies, and for temporary relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing due to bronchial asthma. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Ephedrine capsules are a decongestant and bronchodilator. It works by reducing swelling and constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages and widening the airway, allowing you to breathe more easily.
Do NOT use ephedrine capsules if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in ephedrine capsules
- you are taking furazolidone or have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) in the last 14 days
- you have severe high blood pressure, severe heart blood vessel disease, a rapid heartbeat, or severe heart problems
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using ephedrine capsules:
Some medical conditions may interact with ephedrine capsules. 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 a history of heart problems, diabetes, glaucoma, an enlarged prostate or other prostate problems, adrenal gland problems, high blood pressure, seizures, stroke, blood vessel problems, an overactive thyroid, or severe asthma
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ephedrine capsules. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Rauwolfia derivatives (eg, reserpine) because the effectiveness of ephedrine capsules may be decreased
- Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), cocaine, furazolidone, indomethacin, methyldopa, MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), oxytocic medicines (eg, oxytocin), rauwolfia derivatives (eg, reserpine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the actions and side effects of ephedrine capsules may be increased
- Bromocriptine, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (eg, entacapone), digoxin, or droxidopa because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
- Guanadrel, guanethidine, mecamylamine, methyldopa, or reserpine because its effectiveness may be decreased by ephedrine capsules
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ephedrine capsules 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 capsules:
Use ephedrine capsules 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 capsules may be taken with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
- If you miss a dose of ephedrine capsules and are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ephedrine capsules.
Important safety information:
- Ephedrine capsules may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to ephedrine capsules. Using ephedrine capsules alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
- If your symptoms do not improve within 7 days or if you develop a high fever, check with your doctor.
- If you have trouble sleeping, ask your pharmacist or doctor about the best time to take ephedrine capsules.
- Do not take diet or appetite control medicines while you are taking ephedrine capsules.
- Ephedrine capsules contains ephedrine. Before you begin taking any new prescription or nonprescription medicine, read the ingredients to see if it also contains ephedrine. If it does or if you are uncertain, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
- Diabetes patients - Ephedrine capsules may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Use ephedrine capsules with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Use ephedrine capsules with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is unknown if ephedrine capsules can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant while taking ephedrine capsules, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using ephedrine capsules during pregnancy. It is unknown if ephedrine capsules are excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using ephedrine capsules, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of ephedrine capsules:
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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Dizziness; headache; nausea; nervousness; restlessness; sleeplessness; stomach irritation.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); difficulty urinating.
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 confusion; hallucinations; irregular or unusually slow or rapid heartbeat; rapid breathing; seizures.Proper storage of ephedrine capsules:
Store ephedrine capsules at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep ephedrine capsules out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about ephedrine capsules, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Ephedrine capsules are 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 capsules 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 capsules. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ephedrine capsules. 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 capsules.
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.