Ephedrine is a stimulant drug, a sympathomimetic , used in bodybuilding to suppress appetite and burn fat . In medicine, it is used to treat bronchial asthma, hypotension and some other diseases. Ephedrine is similar in structure and action to CNS stimulants such as amphetamines and methamphetamines. Chemically, ephedrine is an alkaloid found in various plants of the Ephedra genus (family Ephedraceae). The most common forms are ephedrine hydrochloride and ephedrine sulfate.

Legal status

Ephedrine is banned. The legal status of ephedrine is regulated by a government decree on narcotic drugs.

Be careful! Many popular ECA-based fat burners (cloma pharma, innovative labs, and others) claim ephedra as their main ingredient. The sale, production, transportation and storage of drugs with ephedrine entails real criminal liability.

Legally, ephedrine is included in two restrictive lists:

  • 1) The list of completely banned substances. “Handicraft preparations from ephedrine (pseudoephedrine) or from preparations containing ephedrine (pseudoephedrine)” Any handicraft preparation of ephedrine (no matter solo or complex) is equated to drugs and entails criminal liability as for full-fledged narcotic substances.
  • 2) The list of substances significantly restricted in public circulation.

Ephedrine can only be produced legally (with all certificates and licenses) under the guise of a drug (practically the only example is bronchodilator) and with a mandatory concentration of ephedrine up to 10%. Ephedrine with a concentration of more than 10% is prohibited from any participation in civil circulation, even if it does not fall under the definition of “handicraft”.

Responsibility For the seller and the manufacturer, the real time is possible. The seller is criminally liable when a large volume is discovered (according to Art. 228.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). For the manufacturer, Art. 228.4 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. 

When imposing a punishment, it is mandatory to pay attention to the detected volumes. If you have found a large volume and there are interested persons, then your situation can be classified as very “difficult”. In case of handicraft production, a volume of 10gr or more is recognized as large, a particularly large one – from 500gr. With the illegal circulation of ephedrine with a concentration of up to 10%: large – 25g, especially large – 5000g.

Exceptions: a) legal sale with all certificates and documents of ephedrine with a concentration of up to 10% (practically the only drug is bronchodilator). The consumer faces administrative liability, with the exception of the purchase of ephedrine on a large scale (from 25gr).

How much ephedrine is in the jar? What does a large volume look like in practice?

The active dosage is 50-100 mg. In cans, there are usually 60 capsules (servings). Accordingly, 1 can of real ECA fat burner contains approximately 3-6 grams of ephedrine. Accordingly, the presence of 5-8 jars of a real ECA fat burner with a dose of 50-100mg ephedrine will qualify as a large volume.

Additional expert comments:

Ephedrine, from a legal point of view, is a rather dangerous additive and can entail real criminal liability for a participant in civil turnover. The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation provides for punishment up to life imprisonment. If there is an interested person, the likelihood of prosecution increases significantly.

The myth about the legality of supplements with a concentration of up to 10% has become widely spread among sellers of sports nutrition. The source of this myth is unscrupulous manufacturers and importers. The myth is actively promoted in major magazines. On the Russian market, there is a high percentage of handicraft ECA fat burners disguised as Western production.

There is a dubious theory regarding the ephedrine content of ECA fat burners. According to one version: instead of ephedrine, manufacturers include ephedra extract in the composition. If this is so, then there are 2 conclusions: a) Manufacturers are deceiving buyers, because popular fat burners (cloma pharm and others with ECA) clearly contain a powerful stimulant (for example, instead of the desired ephedrine, there may be an unspecified component, legal in the Russian Federation DMAA, AMP citrate or something else) b) If popular fat burners contain ephedra extract, then it will still contain ephedrine. The dosages for obtaining the desired effect from ephedrine will be low, but for the onset of legal liability, it is quite sufficient.

The production, purchase and sale of ephedrine is a rather dubious activity with an increased legal risk. You should pay attention to a relatively legal and no less effective analogue with similar effects – dmaa (geranium) .

Effects of ephedrine

Ephedrine is a sympathomimetic, which means that its action is realized by the release of catecholamines (norepinephrine) from nerve endings, which in turn interact with adrenergic receptors. The action of ephedrine in general is manifested by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Ephedrine itself does not interact with adrenergic receptors. [5] The effect of ephedrine on the central nervous system is limited because it does not penetrate well through the blood-brain barrier.

Effects of Ephedrine

  • Burning fat
  • Decreased appetite (pronounced)
  • Mental stimulation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Boost your metabolism
  • Increased workout efficiency and performance
  • Moderate diuretic effect

Ephedrine Combination

Most often, ephedrine is combined with caffeine and aspirin – ECA (ephedrine, caffeine, aspirin) , sometimes aspirin is replaced by salicin, which practically does not differ from aspirin in action. Many sports nutrition manufacturers have previously produced ECA-based fat burners . Currently, ECA fat burners (Asia Black, China White and Metyldrene 25) are illegal in Russia and many countries around the world, but continue to be manufactured in countries such as China, India, etc.

Side effects of ephedrine

  • From the cardiovascular system: tachycardia, arrhythmia, angina pectoris, increased blood pressure
  • Skin side effects: hot flashes, sweating, acne
  • Gastrointestinal: appetite suppression, nausea
  • Genitourinary system: difficulty urinating (very rare)
  • Central nervous system: anxiety, insomnia, euphoria, aggressiveness
  • Other side effects of ephedrine: dizziness, headache, tremors (tremors), hyperglycemia, dry mouth

Most of the unwanted reactions disappear 2-3 days after the start of the course.

Preventing the Side Effects of Ephedrine

Many side effects can be prevented by following these guidelines:

  • Ephedrine can overload the cardiovascular system, especially with initial use, but beta-blockers can prevent this adverse reaction. Take Metoprolol at a dose of 50-100 mg 1-2 times a day, this will normalize blood pressure, lower the heart rate, and eliminate discomfort in the chest. Metoprolol will protect your heart by blocking the effects of ephedrine on the myocardium. To find an adequate dose of beta-blockers, check your heart rate 2-3 hours after taking a serving of ephedrine and 50 mg of Metoprolol. If the pulse is within 60-80 beats per minute at rest, then the dosage is sufficient. If the pulse is lower, reduce the dose of Metoprolol by half, if the pulse is higher, increase the dosage by 1.5-2 times.
  • Drink enough fluids – at least 2.5 liters per day (total), otherwise dehydration occurs, which threatens with numerous complications. The drug suppresses the feeling of thirst and increases fluid loss, so control the amount of water you drink.
  • To prevent insomnia, do not take the drug in the afternoon.
  • If you experience other severe side effects, reduce the dose of ephedrine or stop completely.
  • Do not take this drug if you have a contraindication.
  • For complete safety, taking ephedrine should be agreed with your doctor.

Contraindications to ephedrine 

  • Do not take ephedrine with antidepressants (MAO inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and some others).
  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system (ischemic heart disease, a history of heart attack, arrhythmias, etc.)
  • High blood pressure
  • Closed-angle glaucoma
  • Hypertrophy of the prostate
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Pregnancy and lactation
  • Age less than 18 years (relative contraindication).
  • If you have any medical conditions or are taking medications, you should consult your doctor before use.

Preparations containing ephedrine

BRONCHOLYTIN is the most popular cough syrup as it is still available over the counter by private pharmacies. One bottle of Bronholitin contains: ephedrine hydrochloride – 100 mg, glaucine hydrobromide – 125 mg, camphor basil oil 125 mg.

According to many athletes, Bronholitin is an ideal source of ephedrine. The average portion of bronchodilator is 0.5-0.25 vials (50-25 mg of ephedrine) and non-toxic accompanying components. Basil oil is perfectly safe, but it gives bronchodilator a nasty taste. Glaucine – a single dose can be 80 mg (2/3 of a bottle of Bronholitin), this is a non-toxic compound that has a sedative effect. In combination with ephedrine, glaucine eliminates many of its side effects: anxiety and anxiety are reduced, chest discomfort occurs less often, etc., at the same time glaucine does not reduce the fat burning effect of ephedrine.

However, there is also a significant drawback – sugar. 1 bottle of bronchodilator contains 43 g of sugar (about 14 g in one serving of syrup). In fact, these are only two teaspoons, which will not create a significant obstacle during drying and will quickly “burn” during training.

Also in the territory of the Russian Federation, the plant Ephedrine is widespread , which contains alkaloids of the ephedrine group, accounting for 1-2% of the mass of dry grass. Ephedrine makes up 30-90% of the total amount of alkaloids.

On the territory of the Russian Federation, it occurs in steppe and semi-desert zones in the European part and in Western Siberia. Occurs locally, in places common. It is very rare in the regions of the Central Black Earth Economic Region.

Listed in the regional Red Data Books: Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, Belgorod, Kemerovo, Kurgan, Kursk, Lipetsk, Novosibirsk, Penza, Samara and Saratov regions.