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Ephedrine (systemic): Patient drug information

Ephedrine (systemic): Patient drug information

(For additional information see "Ephedrine (systemic): Drug information" and see "Ephedrine (systemic): Pediatric drug information")

You must carefully read the "Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer" below in order to understand and correctly use this information.

Brand Names: US
  • Akovaz;
  • Bronkaid Max [OTC];
  • Emerphed;
  • Primatene [OTC];
  • Rezipres [DSC]
What is this drug used for?
  • Tablets:
  • It is used to treat asthma.
  • Injection:
  • It is used to treat low blood pressure.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
  • If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have taken certain drugs for depression or Parkinson's disease in the last 14 days. This includes isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, selegiline, or rasagiline. Very high blood pressure may happen.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Linezolid or methylene blue.
  • If you are taking any other drugs for nose stuffiness, weight loss, or ADHD.
  • This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
  • All products:
  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • High blood pressure or fast heartbeat may happen with this drug. This could raise the chance of heart attack or stroke. These could be deadly. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • Check your blood pressure as you have been told.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
  • Tablets:
  • Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
  • Do not take this drug for longer than you were told by your doctor.
  • Call your doctor right away if your normal dose does not work well, if your signs get worse, or if you need to use this drug more often than normal.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Avoid use of caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate. Use with this drug may cause high blood pressure, nervousness, shakiness, a fast heartbeat, and anxiety.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use alcohol, marijuana or other forms of cannabis, or prescription or OTC drugs that may slow your actions.
  • Do not give to a child younger than 12 years of age.
  • Injection:
  • Very high blood pressure after delivering a baby has happened in some people who got this drug with some other drugs like ergonovine and methylergonovine. Some people had a stroke. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
  • WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Fast, slow, or abnormal heartbeat.
  • Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
  • Trouble passing urine.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Seizures.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
  • All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Dizziness or headache.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Restlessness.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
  • You may report side effects to your national health agency.
How is this drug best taken?
  • Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
  • Tablets:
  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Injection:
  • It is given into a vein for a period of time.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
  • Tablets:
  • This drug is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.
  • Injection:
  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
  • Tablets:
  • Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Injection:
  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
  • All products:
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
General drug facts
  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Last Reviewed Date2022-03-15
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
  • This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider's examination and assessment of a patient's specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/know/clinical-effectiveness-terms.
  • © 2023 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.
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