Ephedra

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Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications that can cause an irregular heartbeat (QT interval-prolonging drugs)
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Ephedra can increase the speed of your heartbeat. Taking ephedra along with medications that can cause an irregular heartbeat might cause serious side effects including heart attack.

Some medications that can cause an irregular heartbeat include amiodarone (Cordarone), disopyramide (Norpace), dofetilide (Tikosyn), ibutilide (Corvert), procainamide (Pronestyl), quinidine, sotalol (Betapace), thioridazine (Mellaril), and many others.



Methylxanthines
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Ephedra can simulate the body. Methylxanthines also stimulate the body. Taking ephedra along with methylxanthines might cause side effects such as jitteriness, nervousness, a fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, and anxiety.

Methylxanthines include aminophylline, caffeine, and theophylline.



Stimulant drugs
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Stimulant drugs speed up the nervous system and can make you feel jittery and speed up your heartbeat. Ephedra can also speed up the nervous system. Taking ephedra along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems including increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Avoid taking stimulant drugs along with ephedra.

Some stimulant drugs include diethylpropion (Tenuate), epinephrine, phentermine (Ionamin), pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), and many others.



Dexamethasone (Decadron)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

The body breaks down dexamethasone (Decadron) to get rid of it. Ephedra might increase how quickly the body breaks down dexamethasone (Decadron). Taking ephedra along with dexamethasone (Decadron) might decrease the effectiveness of dexamethasone (Decadron).



Ergot derivatives
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Ephedra can increase blood pressure. Ergot derivatives can also increase blood pressure. Taking ephedra with ergot derivatives might increase blood pressure too much.

Some of these ergot derivatives include bromocriptine (Parlodel), dihydroergotamine (Migranal, DHE-45), ergotamine (Cafergot), and pergolide (Permax).



Medications for depression (MAOIs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Ephedra contains chemicals that stimulate the body. Some medications used for depression can increase these chemicals. Taking ephedra with these medications used for depression might cause serious side effects including fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, seizures, nervousness, and others.

Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.



Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Ephedra might increase blood sugar. Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar. By increasing blood sugar, ephedra might decrease the effectiveness of diabetes medications. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.



Medications used to prevent seizures (Anticonvulsants)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Medications used to prevent seizures affect chemicals in the brain. Ephedra may also affect chemicals in the brain. By affecting chemicals in the brain, ephedra may decrease the effectiveness of medications used to prevent seizures.

Some medications used to prevent seizures include phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others.

Dosing considerations for Ephedra.

The appropriate dose of ephedra depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for ephedra. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


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