Ephedra is the plant from which the drug ephedrine was originally isolated. Phenylpropanolamine and ephedrine have similar effects and side effects.1 Until 2004, ephedra, also called ma huang, was used in many herbal products including supplements promoted for weight loss.
While interactions between phenylpropanolamine and ephedra have not been reported, it seems likely that such interactions could occur. To prevent potential problems, people taking phenylpropanolamine-containing products should avoid using ephedra/ephedrine-containing products.
1. Threlkeld DS, ed. Respiratory Drugs, Sympathomimetics. In Facts and Comparisons Drug Information. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, May 1994, 173a-3h.
2. Threlkeld DS, ed. Respiratory Drugs, Sympathomimetics. In Facts and Comparisons Drug Information. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, May 1994, 173a-3h.
Last Review: 04-29-2014
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