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Ephedrine

Last updated on 16/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Ephedrine

ALTERNATIVE NAME: EPH

CHINESE NAME: 麻黄碱, 麻黃素

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Dhasedyl, Fendyl, Methorsedyl, Metoplex

DRUG CLASS: Bronchodilators, Sympathomimetics

SUB CLASS: Alpha agonists, Beta-2 agonists

USED FOR: Nasal congestion and sneezing associated with cold, Nasal congestion associated with common cold and flu, Bronchospasm

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 1% (nasal drops)
– 30 mg/ml (solution for injections)
– 6 mg, 7.2 mg, 8 mg, 12 mg (tablets)

What is Ephedrine for?

Ephedrine is a bronchodilator and sympathomimetic which increases the release of noradrenaline binding to alpha and beta-2 receptors for its action. It can treat nasal congestion and sneezing associated with cold, nasal congestion associated with common cold and flu and bronchospasm.

How to use it?

Ephedrine can be taken through oral, nasal and parenteral routes. For the parenteral route, it is injected through the muscle or veins or under the skin. It does not differ much whether it is taken with or without food.

Nasal congestion
Child above 12 years of age, adult and elderly
Instill 1-2 drops into each nostril up to 4 times daily as needed.

Acute bronchospasm
Child above 12 years of age and adult
Oral Ephedrine hydrochloride: 15-60 mg three times a day.
Oral Ephedrine sulphate: 12.5-25 mg every 4 hours.
Intravenous Ephedrine sulphate: 12.5-25 mg. Additional doses can be given according to body response.
Subcutaneous Ephedrine sulphate: 12.5-25 mg. Additional doses can be given according to body response.
Intramuscular Ephedrine sulphate: 12.5-25 mg. Additional doses can be given according to body response.

Elderly
Oral Ephedrine hydrochloride: 7.5-30 mg three times a day.
Oral Ephedrine sulphate: 6.25-12.5 mg every 4 hours.

Child at 1-5 years of age
Oral Ephedrine hydrochloride: 15 mg three times a day.

Child at 6-12 years of age
Oral Ephedrine hydrochloride: 30 mg three times a day.

What are the side effects of Ephedrine?

Common side effects of Ephedrine include excessive sweating, irregular heartbeat, anorexia, tremor and difficulty in breathing.

Who should not take Ephedrine?

There are no contraindications for oral and parenteral Ephedrine.

For nasal Ephedrine:
– People allergic to Ephedrine or any component of the formulation.
– People below 12 years of age.
– Patients with urinary retention.
– People currently on beta-blockers or other sympathomimetic decongestants.

There are more contraindications. Notify your physician of your situation before acquiring Ephedrine.

Pharmacist Tips:

– Avoid contacting the nasal drops with eyes.
– Avoid contamination when using nasal drops.
– Consider taking a shower if your nasal congestion does not go away.
– Identify and avoid what triggers your nasal congestion and bronchospasm.
– Press your nose to close another nostril when you are using nasal drops in one nostril.

Common dosing schedule:
Intranasal Ephedrine is taken as needed up to 4 times daily.

Oral Ephedrine is taken 3-6 times daily. Try to use alarms or other devices to remind yourself of taking the drug.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Ephedrine may interact with:
– Tricyclic antidepressants, e.g. Amitriptyline, Imipramine, Nortriptyline
– Volatile liquid anesthetics, e.g. Halothane, Cyclopropane
– Sympathomimetics, e.g. Pseudoephedrine, Phentermine, Phenylpropanolamine
– Beta-blockers, e.g. Atenolol, Metoprolol, Propranolol
– Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, e.g. Rasagiline, Selegiline, Phenelzine

Ephedrine may interact with many other medications. Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Ephedrine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, oral and intranasal Ephedrine is a medicine under supervised sales and can be purchased under the supervision of a pharmacist from any pharmacies in Hong Kong. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.  

In Hong Kong, parenteral Ephedrine is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Ephedrine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.