Side effects and contraindications of ephedrine

Adverse Effects and Contraindications

Knowing the powerful effects of ephedrine on metabolism (see page What exactly is ephedrine?) it is obvious that a proper usage is necessary in order to avoid adverse effects which will vary from light side effects to death. The risk is real – highly manageable but real! Most of the time, people see what they expect and occult what could be disturbing. Especially in case of weight loss programs. Do you really want to risk your life for a slim and sexy body? So please pay attention to the following recommendations.

  1. Read and understand all adverse effects and contraindications listed below.
  2. Consult your doctor and get a clear status of your health condition.
  3. If you make your own informed decision about taking ephedrine, please note that the doses recommendation by the FDA are maximum 8 mg as a single ephedrine dose, 24 mg of ephedrine per day and no longer than 7 days, although these recommendations are questioned by many scientists and proved wrong by many medical studies and clinical tests (see the page about EC stacks). So whatever would be your decision, we recommend that you begin at one third or half dosage, then be careful regarding side effects (especially during warm weather) and finally increase doses progressively – this is common sense!.

Now the official recommendations:

Do not take ephedrine if you are under 18, or if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.

Adverse effects:

  • Severe mental/mood changes, fever, trouble breathing, one-sided weakness, confusion, vision problems, slurred speech
  • Dizziness, headache, nervousness, anxiety, nausea, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal distress, chest pain, vomiting, tremor/shakiness, sweating, severe weight loss, difficult or painful urination, stomach pain, unusually fast or irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations to heart attack, stroke, seizures, psychosis and even death

These side effects vary among individuals and occasions. Also, combining caffeine with ephedrine greatly increases the risks.

If any of these effects occur, notify your doctor!


Ephedrine is not recommended if you have the following medical conditions:

  • Glaucoma (closed-angle type), certain psychiatric conditions (e.g., psychoneurosis). Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: heart problems (e.g., arrhythmias, chest pain), blood vessel problems (e.g., stroke or TIA), diabetes, over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism), prostate problems, high blood pressure (hypertension), adrenal gland problems, kidney problems, any allergies.
  • Breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended.

Drugs interactions:

Ephedrine is not recommended for use with other adrenalin-like drugs (e.g., caffeine, epinephrine, methylphenidate, pseudoephedrine). Also, avoid taking any MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline, tranylcypromine) for at least 2 weeks before or after using this drug. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially: beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol), other blood pressure medicine (e.g., guanethidine, methyldopa, reserpine, or alpha-blockers such as prazosin and terazosin), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, desipramine), “water pills” (e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), digoxin, atropine, theophylline, oxytocin, certain anesthetics used in surgery (e.g., cyclopropane, halothane), certain herbal/natural medications (e.g., ma huang, St John’s wort). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids, natural products) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your heart rate or blood pressure. The use of ephedrine with these products is not recommended. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


By Mike Budd