Ephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine - that is, its principal mechanism of action relies on its direct and indirect actions on the adrenergic receptor system, which is part of the sympathetic nervous system.Ephedrine's action as an agonist at most major noradrenaline receptors and its ability to increase the release of both dopamine and to a lesser extent, serotonin by the same mechanism is presumed to have a major role in its mechanism of action.
What is ephedrine?
Ephedrine is used for temporary relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing due to bronchial asthma. Ephedrine may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Ephedrine is a decongestant and bronchodilator. It works by reducing swelling and constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages and widening the lung airways, allowing you to breathe more easily.
Do not use ephedrine if:
you are allergic to this medication.
you do not have a diagnosis of asthma
you have a diagnosis of asthma but use prescription asthma medications
if you have ever been hospitalized for asthma
you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) now or have taken an MAO inhibitor in the last 14 days. If you do not know if your prescription drug contains an MAO inhibitor, ask your health care provider before taking this product.
you have high blood pressure, heart disease, an irregular heartbeat, thyroid disease, diabetes, or difficulty in urination due to enlargement of the prostate gland or other severe heart problems
Contact your doctor or health care provider before using ephedrine if any of these apply to you.
Before using ephedrine:
Some medical conditions may interact with ephedrine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
if you have a history of heart problems, diabetes, glaucoma, an enlarged prostate or other prostate problems, adrenal gland problems, high blood pressure, seizures, stroke, blood vessel problems, an overactive thyroid, or severe asthma
Some medicines may interact with ephedrine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), cocaine, indomethacin, methyldopa, MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), linezolid, oxytocic medicines (eg, oxytocin), rauwolfia derivatives (eg, reserpine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline), or ergot alkaloids (eg, dihydroergotamine) because the actions and side effects of ephedrine may be increased
Bromocriptine, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (eg, entacapone), or digoxin because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
Guanadrel, guanethidine, mecamylamine, methyldopa, or reserpine because its effectiveness may be decreased by ephedrine
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ephedrine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
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