↑ Return to Stimulants

Print this Page


Classification: Sympathomimetic stimulant

Common Names/Nicknames: Ephedra, herbal ecstasy

Active Compound: Ephedrine

Found in: Synthetic ephedrine, plants of the Ephedra family, ephedrine tea

Mode of Consumption: Ingestion, injection


DEA Scheduling/Legal Status (in US): Schedule IV, legal with restrictions (only for bronchodilatory uses)


Bronchodilation, increased energy, restlessness, anorexia, mania, hallucinations


Acute: Increased heart rate, hypertension, hyperthermia, dehydration, accidental injury, seizures, cardiac arrest, stroke, coma, fatal overdose

Chronic: addiction, tolerance, withdrawal, depression, infertility, heart damage

Insufflation: nasal septum damage. Inhalation (smoking): lung damage.

Dangerous Drug Combinations:

Potentially fatal combination with other stimulants, depressants/sedatives, and seizure medications. Potentially dangerous mix with acetaminophen/paracetamol (Brand names: Tylenol, Triaminic, Panadol) and medications with risk of seizure.

Special Considerations:

Found increasingly in conjunction with methylenedioxypyrovalerone.

« Stimulants


And remember, if somebody may need help, play it safe and call for medical assistance.

“Students may bring an intoxicated or drug-impaired friend to University Health Services or to a hospital, or seek assistance from College residential life staff or HUPD, and by doing this, neither they nor the friend will face disciplinary action from the College for having used or provided alcohol or drugs.”

                                                                                    The Amnesty Policy

                                                                                    Harvard College Student Handbook



Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy (Third Edition), by Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, and Wilkie Wilson. Published 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), part of the U.S. Department of Justice.



Erowid Organization


Permanent link to this article: http://www.harvarddapa.org/resources/drug-ipedia/stimulants/ephedrine/