What is ephedrine used for?
- Ephedrine is used to treat low blood pressure.
- Ephedrine may be given to you for other reasons. Talk to your doctor.
Before taking ephedrine, tell your doctor:
- If you are allergic to ephedrine; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you are taking certain drugs used for depression like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine, or drugs used for Parkinson's disease like selegiline or rasagiline.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with ephedrine.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take ephedrine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take ephedrine?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take ephedrine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Check your blood pressure as you have been told.
- Very high blood pressure after delivering a baby has happened in some women who got ephedrine with some other drugs like ergonovine and methylergonovine. Some people had a stroke. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using ephedrine while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is ephedrine best taken?
Use ephedrine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into a vein.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
What are the side effects of ephedrine that I need to call my doctor about immediately?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
- Slow heartbeat.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Very nervous and excitable.
- Trouble passing urine.
What are some other side effects of ephedrine?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling nervous and excitable.
- Not able to sleep.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Not hungry.
- Sweating a lot.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If overdose is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out ephedrine?
- If you need to store ephedrine at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
Consumer information use and disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about ephedrine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take ephedrine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ephedrine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.