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Ephedrine Category: Stimulants

How it’s used

Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are chemically similar and have similar effects but they are different drugs. Ephedrine is a central nervous system stimulant (‘upper’). It is used to treat breathing problems and nasal congestion. You can buy it in tablet, liquid and nasal form in over-the-counter medicines such as cough bottles and flu remedies. You can also use ephedrine as a weight loss aid and to increase energy and alertness when body building. In the US it is prescribed for seasickness. It is also found in some ‘head shop’ products which contain sida cordifolia.

Short term effects

Long terms effects

Other dangers

If you are pregnant

Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Ephedrine acts on the dopamine and serotonin receptors in your brain and so you can become dependent on it. You may develop tolerance so you need to take more to get the same effect.

What help is available?

« Back to Types of Drugs page
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