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Ephedra / PPA:dietary supplement & energy booster

Indianapolis Defective Product Attorneys

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Dangers from Ephedra, Ephedra, Ephedrine,

Ephedra, an amphetamine-like stimulant long used in Asia, has Indianapolis Defective Product Attorneysbecome a common ingredient in modern dietary supplements, weight loss medications, and appetite suppression pills. Because of the status of ‘dietary supplement’, it was introduced in the United States with little review or monitoring by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This lack of review is provided for by the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994 and cannot be altered unless the supplement is determined to be unsafe. Besides being used in dietary supplements, ephedra is also used in non-dietary-related medications such as over-the-counter nasal decongestants, asthma medications (because of its effect as a bronchodilator), and cold and allergy medicines. However, in relation to dietary supplements, drug companies use this lapse in FDA review to produce a product with amphetamine-like qualities. These qualities are created by mixing caffeine and similar stimulants with the moderately regulated ephedrine.

Ephedra is effective in weight loss because it increases energy for the purposes of increased metabolism, exercise, and body-building purposes. It makes one feel more energetic by stimulating the central nervous system. This stimulant effect is similar to the effects of adrenaline and caffeine. The stimulation is a cause of concern to many physicians and has recently come under heightened scrutiny by the FDA. The FDA is reviewing increasing numbers of serious adverse effects, including claims of damage to the nervous system and heart.

Ephedra comes from herbal and chemical sources. Originally it was derived from ma huang, a bush found in China, but it can also be created in the lab. Because of the varied forms of ephedra/ephedrine, the supplement can be known by various names on the ingredients list of dietary supplements.

  • Ephedra, Ephedra extract, and Ephedra herb powder
  • Ephedra gerardiana, Ephedra equisetina, Ephedra intermedia, Ephedra shennungiana
  • Ephedra sinica or Chinese Ephedra
  • Ephedrine
  • Epitonin
  • Ma Huang or Ma Huang extract
  • Norpseudoephedrine
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Sida cordifolia

As already mentioned, because ephedra is categorized as a food supplement, it is not scrutinized in the strict manner as are pharmaceuticals. Due to this lack of control and monitoring, the side-effects of Ephedra/Ephedrine use are not fully known. At this time, potential symptoms of Ephedra/Ephedrine use include:

  • Chest pain
  • Death
  • Dizziness and disorientation
  •  Gastrointestinal (stomach and intestines) distress
  • Headaches
  • Hepatitis
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations
  • Nerve damage
  • Nervousness and jitters
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures and stroke
  • Tremors


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