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Ephedrine sulfate is a potent sympathomimetic that stimulates both α and β receptors and has clinical uses related to both actions. Its peripheral actions, which it owes in part to the release of norepinephrine, simulate responses that are obtained when adrenergic nerves are stimulated. These include an increase in blood pressure, stimulation of heart muscle, constriction of arterioles, relaxation of the smooth muscle of the bronchi and gastrointestinal tract, and dilation of the pupils. In the bladder, relaxation of the detrusor muscle is not prominent, but the tone of the trigone and vesicle sphincter is increased.
The cardiovascular responses reported in man include moderate tachycardia, unchanged or augmented stroke volume, enhanced cardiac output, variable alterations in peripheral resistance and usually a rise in blood pressure. The action of ephedrine is more prominent on the heart than on the blood vessels. Ephedrine sulfate increases the flow of coronary, cerebral and muscle blood.
In patients with myasthenia gravis, administration of Ephedrine Sulfate Injection, USP produces a real but modest increase in motor power. The exact mechanism by which ephedrine sulfate affects skeletal muscle contractions is unknown.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/30/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Ephedrine Information
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