Published January 17, 1991
Name of Drug
Ephedrae herba, ephedra, ma huang.
Composition of Drug
Ephedra consists of the dried, young branchlets, harvested in the fall, of Ephedra sinica Stapf, E. shennungiana Tang [Fam. Ephedraceae], or other equivalent Ephedra species, as well as their equivalent preparations in effective dosage.
The herb contains alkaloids; main alkaloids are ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.
Diseases of the respiratory tract with mild bronchospasms in adults and children over the age of six.
Anxiety and restlessness, high blood pressure, glaucoma, impaired circulation of the cerebrum, adenoma of prostate with residual urine accumulation, pheochromo-cytoma, thyrotoxicosis.
Insomnia, motor restlessness, irritability, headaches, nausea, vomiting, disturbances of urination, tachycardia.
In higher dosage:
Interactions with Other Drugs
- drastic increase in blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, development of dependency.
In combination with:
- Cardiac glycosides or halothane: disturbance of heart rhythm.
- Guanethidine: enhancement of the sympathomimetic effect.
- Greatly raising the sympathomimetic action of ephedrine.
- Secale alkaloid derivatives or oxytocin: development of hypertension.
Unless otherwise prescribed:
- Herb preparations corresponding to 15 - 30 mg total alkaloid, calculated as ephedrine.
- Herb preparations corresponding to 0.5 mg total alkaloid per kg of body weight.
Maximum Daily Dosage
- Herb preparations corresponding to 300 mg total alkaloid, calculated as ephedrine.
Mode of Administration
- 2 mg total alkaloid per kg of body weight.
Comminuted herb, as well as other galenical preparations for internal use.
Duration of Administration
Ephedra preparations should only be used on a short-term duration because of tachyphylaxis and danger of addiction.
Note:Ephedrine-containing preparations are listed as addictive by the International Olympic Committee and the German Sports Association.
In animal experiments:
- Ephedrine acts by indirectly stimulating the sympathomimetic and central nervous system.