Ephedrine Facts and Info
What is Ephedrine?
Ephedrine, a chemical compound, is part of a drug group known as beta-antagonists. This drug is used to treat numerous symptoms, some of which are nasal congestion, fatigue, low blood pressure, ADD, and weight gain.
Ephedrine was first discovered in 1885 by Nagayoshi Nagai, a Japanese chemist. It's structure is very close to the structure of drugs that can be derived from it, methamphetamine and amphetamine.
Ephedrine comes from herbs and other plants that belong to the Ephedracaee Ephedra family. It can most often be found in both Ephedrine Sulfate or Ephedrine Hydrochloride (HCI).
Ephedrine is often misused for producing the dangerous illegal drug methamphetamine, which is commonly referred to as crystal meth. This is why Ephedrine is modified before being sold in the U.S> as pseudoephedrine.
A Few Interesting Facts about Ephedrine
- While it does not has many, or as strong of, effects as narcotics do, Ephedrine is still very much like the street drug methamphetamine.
- At 188 degrees Centigrade, Ephedrine Hydrochloride will melt.
- 3-6 hours is Ephedrine half life.
The Way Ephedrine Works
Ephedrine works on a cellular level, binding itself to beta-adrenergic receptors. The fight-or-flight response is the body's most common response to any antagonist binding with this type of receptor.
Even though Ephedrine is not capable of crossing the blood barrier, it is still capable of slightly interacting with the central-nervous system. The main way that this drug works is to combine with noradrenalin and enter into the nerve cells.
Ephedrine has a high pH level which makes it an alkaloid. When nerve cells experience an increase in pH they tend to remain receptive. This makes it possible for more noradrenalin to enter the cell, therefore causing the desired effects, while increasing the time that it takes for the process to happen.
Ephedrine does more than just increase the effects of adrenalin and noradrenalin on the body. This drug also causes serotonin, the brain's natural anti-depressant, and dopamine to be released. Ephedrine's interaction with these two drugs is very similar and significantly alters how they work. There is not much known about how serotonin and Ephedrine interact, but something occurs that causes people to experience better moods and a brighter change in their personality. The dopamine that is released during the ingestion of Ephedrine has led some people to think that there is a chance of addiction.
How Ephedrine Effects Weight-Loss
Because Ephedrine acts as a thermogenic, it is commonly used as a weight-loss aid. When thermogenics are stimulated by the body's metabolism they produce heat. This causes the body to breakdown more fat, which is known as associated lipolysis. Another benefit to using Ephedrine as a weight-loss aid is that it works to suppress the appetite. Along with stimulating the fat burning process and curbing hunger, Ephedrine also provides an increase in energy and focus, both of which are often lacking in people who are on low-calorie diets.
The Misuse and Abuse of Ephedrine
Ephedrine is known for being used for reasons other than it's intended purpose. Bodybuilders, cyclists, martial artists and even everyday people are guilty of this. One of the most obvious reasons for misuse of this drug is it's ability to increase the body's fat burning rate. This drug also has the ability to increase energy levels and help to tone the body, which then makes exercising more enjoyable, and even tolerable.
Recently, the drug has been employed by college students as a study-aid because of it's ability to increase concentration, which then causes a decrease in the amount of time it takes to complete an assignment. Ephedrine is less potent than, but very similar, to drugs such as Adderall, Vivance, Ritalin and Focalin which as used to treat ADD and ADHD.
Teens and young adults misuse Ephedrine to keep them up all night at parties. It is also often added to cocaine because it causes a buzz which helps the dealer to increase the amount of drug he has to sell.
Ephedrine and It's Side Effects
When used properly, the chances of Ephedrine causing you harm are pretty slim, but overdose or misuse of this drug can cause many side effects, including:
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Stroke Seizures
- Irritability and Aggression- Anxiety
- Increased Sweating
- Light Headache
- Gastrointestinal Distress
- Wakefulness and Insomnia
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Increased Heart Rate
- Heart Palpitations
- Wakefulness and Insomnia
- Irregular Heartbeat
Ephedrine has been known to cause depression or an increase in depression. It is also important that you drink plenty of water when using Ephedrine,or any of the drugs derived from it,because of the potential for dehydration.
Many people consider the above described side-effects of this drug as positive, and often enjoy the effects. It is very important, however, that you discuss the use of any performance-enhancing drug with your doctor.
Proper Ephedrine Dosing for Exercise
When you begin using Ephedrine, a 25mg dosage should be just the right amount. This is just enough to jump start the metabolism and help the dieter begin losing weight. You can safely increase you dosage to 25mg twice a day, and eventually, once your body has adjusted to the use of Ephedrine, you can increase your dosage to 50 mg twice daily.
You the best results you should take your dose of Ephedrine about a half hour before you begin working out. If you are taking a second daily dose, it is important that you consider the fact that Ephedrine is a stimulant and should not be taken any less than 6 hours before bed.
You must exercise caution when using Ephedrine as a weight-loss aid. Often, people feel the need to increase their dosage to more than 200mg a day. This is because there is a misconception that comes from no longer feeling the stimulant-type effect. No longer feeling those effects does not mean that the drugs thermogenic effects have stopped. The Ephedrine is still assisting the body with losing weight. Taken more than what is recommended is dangerous because it can potentially lead to addiction and dependency. You should exercise caution when using Ephedrine in this manner.
Ephedrine should only be used on days when you will be exercising.
Who Should Ephedrine Not Be Used By?
Should should always consult your doctor before you begin using any drug. If you are unsure of the effect or have any questions about Ephedrine or any compounds that are similar to it, be sure to talk to your doctor.
If you have underlying heart disease, a history of heart disease of any kind, stroke or cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, bi-polar, depression, anxiety, diabetes mellitus, metabolic acidosis, or if any of the things mentioned above are a recurrent problem.
If you are taking drug that are SSRI, NDRI, or SNRI anti-depressants, MOAI's, beta blockers, Bupropion, or anesthetics you should not use Ephedrine or any drug that has a similar compound until you have consulted your physician or pharmacist.
Ephedrine and Synephrine are compounds that have attributes that are very much alike and work by causing blood vessels to contract, therefore, increasing both a person's blood pressure and their heart rate. Many weight-loss formulas that claim to no longer use Ephedrine are replacing it with Synephrine. It is quite likely that Synephrine and Ephedrine are almost identical and it is possible that Synephrine is worse for you.
Along with the side-effects that are associated with the use of Ephedrine, Synephrine has also been known to cause an increased risk of ischemic stroke, cardiac infractions, arrhythmias and increased blood pressure.
There are a lot of common, over-the-counter drugs, such as Sudafed PE, that contain a drug named pseudoephedrine, a replacement for Ephedrine. But because Pseudoephedrine does not bind with noradrenalin like Ephedrine does, the effects on the body are not the same.
Research has shown that pseudoephedrine does help with weight-loss and it does have some thermogenic effects. But, you would have to take 6 times more pseudoephedrine than you would have to take of Ephedrine to achieve the same results.
The way pseudoephedrine works is by causing the blood vessels to contract, which prevents fluids, such as mucus, from reaching the sinuses and nasal cavity, which prevents congestion.
Pseudoephedrine is now being eased out of use, much like Ephedrine was before it, due to it being used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
Ephedrine's Natural Sources
Herbs in the ephedra genus of the Ephedracaee family contain the drug Ephedrine. Different kinds of herbs contain differing amounts of Ephedrine and peudoephedrine. You can purchase some of these herbs as supplements but it is not known how much Ephedrine is in them and manufacturers are very vague when it comes to explaining the amount contained in the supplement.
Common Herbs That Contain Ephedrine
- Ma Haung - The most common herbal form of Ephedrine is Ma Haung.
- Bala (Sida cordifolia) - Bala is an herb that, while high in both Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine, it does not belong to the Ephedra family. It can be found in numerous dietary products because it hasn't yet received all the slander that Ephedrine has.
- Soma (Ephedra vulgaris) - The natural form of Ephedrine is known as Ephedra. It has been known to have ties to the religion, Hinduism.
- Bitter Orange (Citrus airantium) - Although it does not always contain Ephedrine, it is still often used in weight-loss aids.
Ephedrine, Caffeine & Aspirin
When used together, Ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin, which is often referred to as an ECA Stack, a synergistic effect is created. Using these three drugs together will cause an increase in weight-loss, boosted levels of energy, and enhanced physical performance.
Interesting Facts About ECA Stacks
- The common ratio of Ephedrine to caffeine to aspirin is 1:10:3.
- Standard doses of each drug are as follows:
20-30mg of Ephedrine
200mg of Caffeine
75mg of Aspirin
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