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Ephedrine

Name of Generic: Ephedrine capsules and tablets (e-FED-rin)
Drug Classes: Decongestants, vasopressors

What is Ephedrine?

Ephedrine is used to provide temporary relief from breathlessness as well as chest tightness and wheezing caused by bronchial asthma. Ephedrine can also be prescribed to treat other ailments, as recommended by your physician.

Ephedrine can be used as a decongestant as well as a bronchodilator. It helps reduce swelling and enlarge blood vessels within the nasal passages as well as open up the lung airways, which allows the airways to breathe more easily.

Do not take ephedrine if:

  • If you're having an allergic reaction to the medication.
  • If you don't have an asthma diagnosis,
  • You have been diagnosed with asthma but are using the prescribed asthma medication.
  • If you've ever been hospitalised due to asthma, you should be aware of it.
  • You are taking a monoamine-oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine or the drug phenelzine) in the present or you have previously taken an MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days. If you don't know the presence of one of the MAO inhibitors, consult your physician prior to using this drug.
  • If you suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease, an irregular heartbeat, thyroid disease, a problem with urination due to an increase in the prostate gland, or any other serious heart issues,

Talk to your doctor or health professional before taking ephedrine if any one of these is applicable to you.

Before you Take this Drug

Certain medical conditions can interfere with ephedrine. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor in the event that you suffer from any medical condition, particularly in the event that you have any of the following conditions:

  • If you are currently expecting, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding,
  • If you're taking any medicine that is prescription or nonprescription, herbal preparation, or nutritional supplement,
  • If you are allergic to food, medicine, or other substances
  • If you have a history of heart issues or diabetes, glaucoma, an over-sized prostate or problems with your prostate or adrenal glands, seizures, high blood pressure, strokes, blood vessel disorders, an overactive thyroid, or asthma that is severe,

Certain medicines can be incompatible with ephedrine. Inform your doctor when you're taking any other medications, including one of the following:

  • Beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol), cocaine, indomethacin, and dopa methyl, MAO inhibitors (e.g., phenelzine),  linezolid and oxytocic medications (e.g., Oxtocin), Rauwolfia derivatives (e.g., Reserpine), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, propranolol), or alkaloids of ergot (e.g. dihydroergotamine) due to the effects and adverse effects of ephedrine can be amplified.
  • Guanadrel, guanethidine, and mecamylamine or methyldopa the reserpine drug because its effectiveness could be diminished by the ephedrine

This is not a complete list of interactions that could occur. Consult your doctor about whether ephedrine interacts with other medications that you are taking. Consult your doctor before beginning, stopping, or altering the dosage of any medication.

How to Take Ephedrine?

Follow the directions given by your physician. Examine your labelled medication to find the exact dosage instructions. Examine the label of the medicine to find precise dosing instructions.

  • Ephedrine is a drug that can be taken with or without food. If stomach irritation occurs, drink it along with food to minimise discomfort in the stomach.
  • If you are missing the dose of ephedrine but are regularly taking it, you should take it as quickly as you are able. If it's getting close to your next dose, do not take the dose you missed and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

Consult your physician with any questions you might have about the best way to use ephedrine.

Important safety tips:

  • Ephedrine may cause dizziness. Don't drive, operate machines, or do anything else that may be risky until you are aware of the effects of ephedrine on you. Ephedrine taken alone, in combination with other medications, or in combination with alcohol can reduce your capacity to drive or do other dangerous tasks.
  • If your symptoms don't improve after 7 days or if you experience a high fever, you should consult with your physician.
  • If you're having difficulty sleeping, consult your doctor or pharmacist about the ideal time to take this medication.
  • Do not take appetite or diet medication to control appetite while taking ephedrine.
  • Before using any new nonprescription or prescription medicine, review the ingredient list to determine if the product has ephedrine in it. If it does, or if you're not sure, consult your physician or pharmacist.
  • Patients with diabetes: Ephedrine can alter your blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar levels carefully and talk to your doctor prior to altering the dosage of your diabetes medication.
  • Be cautious when using this medication when you are older, since you might be more sensitive to the effects of this medication.
  • Be extremely cautious when using ephedrine with children. The safety and effectiveness of the drug have not been proven.
  • Breast-feeding and pregnancies It is unclear whether this medication may harm the foetus. If you fall pregnant while using ephedrine, talk to your doctor about the advantages and dangers of taking ephedrine during pregnancy. Ephedrine is excreted in breast milk. If you're currently nursing or plan to nurse while taking ephedrine, consult your physician or pharmacist about the risk to your child.

Side effects of Ephedrine

Every medicine can cause adverse effects; however, many patients experience no, small, or minor negative side effects. Consult your physician in the event that any of these frequent side effects last longer than one hour or grow more severe:

  • Headaches, dizziness, and nausea Nervousness, tremors, inability to eat, sleeplessness, stomach irritation

Get immediate medical attention. If any of the following severe adverse effects happen:

  • Very severe allergic reactions (rash, hives; difficulties breathing; tightness of the chest or lips, face, mouth, or tongue) and difficulty with urination.

This isn't an exhaustive listing of all possible side effects that could be experienced.

DRUG STATUS

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Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation

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