What is oral ephedrine?

  • Ephedrine directly stimulates alpha and beta-adrenergic receptors and increases the release of norepinephrine.
  • Its actions include relaxation of bronchioles, increased heart rate and contractility, and increased blood pressure.
  • It also causes blood vessels in the nasal passages to shrink (vasoconstrict). Vasoconstriction reduces nasal congestion by preventing fluid from draining from blood vessels into the lining of the nasal passages.
  • Ephedrine is also a central nervous system stimulant used illegally for weight loss and for performance enhancement diet supplements.

Is oral ephedrine available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for oral ephedrine?


Why is oral ephedrine prescribed to patients?

What are the side effects of oral ephedrine?

Common side effects include:

Possible serious side effects include:

What is the dosage for oral ephedrine?

  • A dose of 12.5 to 25 mg orally every 4 hours, not to exceed 150 mg in 24 hour has be used for treating bronchospasm.
  • The dose for treating nasal congestion in adults is 25 to 50 mg every 6 hours.


What is Asthma? Asthma Myths Debunked See Slideshow

Which drugs or supplements interact with oral ephedrine?

What else should I know about oral ephedrine?

What preparations of oral ephedrine are available?
  • Tablet
How should I keep oral ephedrine stored?
  • Ephedrine tablets should be stored at room temperature.

Is oral ephedrine safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?


Oral ephedrine is an over-the-counter oral drug used as a dietary supplement, and treating nasal congestion and bronchospasm due to asthma. On April 14, 2004 the FDA warned that over-the-counter products and supplements containing ephedrine are unsafe and may cause side effects such as headache, dizziness, heart irregularities, seizures, and possibly death. All products containing ephedrine have been removed from the U.S. market.

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Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease. See Answer

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


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