Ephedra Side Effects Can Be Severe
Ephedra, in a synthetic form, is used in over-the-counter medications with brand names such as Sudafed and Actifed. Dietary supplements containing Ephedra have been linked to serious side effects including, but not limited to, heart attacks, strokes, and a number of fatalities triggering wrongful death lawsuits.
The Food and Drug Administratio (FDA) can only regulate dietary supplements proven to be unsafe. Drug companies, however, have attempted to produce a “legal” amphetamine by mixing ephedrine with other stimulants such as caffeine. A study commissioned by the National Institutes of Health found limited evidence of ephedra’s effect on short-term weight loss. Ephedra also has been used as a performance enhancement substance in certain physical activities, although the study found minimal evidence of any positive effect on performance. Risks associated with ephedra include heart palpitations, psychiatric side-effects, and upper gastrointestinal effects, among others.