Friday, 19th October 2018

Research Articles

Effects of Ephedrine


Ephedrine is a central and sympathetic nervous system stimulant, and commonly used as a decongestant in cold remedies, and less frequently in treatment of obesity. asthma, energy/sexual enhancement, and euphoria.
The stimulant effects of ephedrine fall mid-way between those of caffeine and amphetamine. These include alertness, energy, and exercise tolerance, increased heart rate and raised body temperature.

Effects of Ephedrine

Cupp reported "Ephedrine-containing herbal products have been associated with adverse cardiovascular events, seizures and even death.". Yates et al reported "herbal ecstasy" to cause "perceptual disturbances, anorexia, inability to sleep, dizziness, palpitations and paresthesia". Gruber et al noted "Eating disorders and disorders of body image appeared to be especially prevalent among ephedrine users." and suggested ephedrine could cause dependence, although Toubro et al stated "no withdrawal symptoms have been found". Meston et al noted "Ephedrine can significantly facilitate the initial stages of physiological sexual arousal in women."

Bielenberg found one user hallucinate "snakes and crocodiles". Shufman described a toxic ephedrine paranoid psychosis "with delusions of persecution and auditory and visual hallucinations in a setting of unclouded consciousness"

Shucard et al reported EEG abnormalities, although Kuitunen et al found a therapeutic dose (30-40mg) to have no significant effect on mental activity, and Nuotto.found ephedrine to have "no deleterious effects". Malchow-Moller et al found "Elsinore pills" containing ephedrine and caffeine, to cause complaints of "exaltation, tremor and insomnia", leading to their withdrawal for obesity treatment.

Erdmann et al found "ephedrine-induced arousal either decreased or increased positive descriptions of mood" depending on the individuals mindset and situation, and also reported "Contrary to expectation, ephedrine decreased subjective emotional reactions to the anger-provoking situation rather than increase it.".

Alkana et al reported ephedrine to reverse some effects of alcohol intoxication and impairment, and Sidney et al suggested ephedrine "may have assisted the learning of certain simple psychomotor tasks". Weinberger et al reported "insomnia, nervousness, and gastrointestinal complaints"


Ephedrine is a common constitutent of "fake" ecstasy pills, commonly associated with caffeine and/or procaine. Many of the effects of ephedrine are similar to those associated with ecstasy-type drugs (stimulation, increased energy, exercise tolerance, sexual openness, reduced aggression, disturbances of perception, insomnia, tremor and euphoria/exaltation). However, the drug would not appear to have the same subjective effects on empathy, or on repetitive movements which are associated with ecstasy use, or sought by users of ecstasy drugs.

It is entirely possible that the effects of ephedrine could be mistaken for those of ecstasy, as the similarities in effects on mood and consciousness would in many cases mask the more subtle differences in physical effects, mood and behaviour between the two drugs.