T Nation

Depression while on supplements:Ephredrine

hey i was wondering how ephredrine affects someone that suffers from depression, i am taking 50mg. Zoloft seems to be wokring but as of late become more and more depressed especially at night i workout everyday and stay with nutrition have read stuffon excess protein intake can cause it, not suppose to take ephedrine according to my doctor as well as creatin which seems bogus i dont wanna get of supplement but will go to ephedra free if i have too, and suggestuions from experts, also tried to kill myself over a year ago that main reason concerned and parents think i need to get off antidepressants if i am on these supplements been on for 4 months of antidepressants

Hang in there Steve. If you’re on Zoloft, stay the hell away from ephedrine. I don’t know what would happen, but combining the two could probably mess you up and burn you out. I’m sorry but I didn’t understand your email. Why did you want to kill yourself? Anyway, if you’re depressed, get out of the house and interact with people, friends, family, or Achmed the pizza delivery guy. Just don’t be alone. Take a dance class or rent funny movies. If you’re on medication, that’s fine. But let me tell you this. There is no person, situation, or thing that should rob the person you are. You don’t deserve your life be flowing down a whirlpool of crap! This is your life and you need to make the best of it while you’re still here.

Most likelt you will need to stay on a maintenence dose of anti-depressants for life. That’s what my DR told me anyway.I don’t see Creatine or high protien as having any effect. As for ephedra I never really saw great fat burning results so I stopped it for that reason. I say fighting depression should be your no. 1 concern, don’t go off the anti-D’s.

My suggestion to you, would be to consult your doctor. Explain that you just want to know how it will react with your current meds. If you don’t, your just gonna get a speech on how bad ephedra is. I do however know that ephedra has a spirt lightening effect about it. Some of those trendy stores sell “X”. They claim it’s the same, odviously it isn’t, but it consists mostly of ephedrine type things.

Steve, depression is a huge topic. First off, I don’t know about creatine, but your doctor is correct regarding the ECA stack. Ephedrine, like caffeine, is a stimulant, a drug if you want to call it that. Drugs, (prescription, illicit, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, etc.) are known to contribute to depression. Let me take just the caffeine part. Although caffeine is a well-known stimulant, the intensity of response to caffeine varies greatly, with people prone to feeling depressed or anxious tending to be especially sensitive to caffeine. Several studies have looked at caffeine intake and depression. For example, one study found that, among healthy college students, moderate and high coffee drinkers scored higher on a depression scale than did low users. Several other studies have shown that depressed patients tend to consume fairly high amounts of caffeine (e.g., greater than 700 mg/day.) And the combination of caffeine and refined sugar seems to be even worse than either substance consumed alone.

Getting off antidepressants is a great goal, but one that should be pursued with a doctor’s or nutritionist’s or ND’s assistance, support and coordination. There’s too much at stake just to just stop taking your meds. If you are interested in pursuing that goal, some areas to look at are:

  1. Nutrient deficiencies or excesses. A deficiency of any single nutrient can alter brain function and lead to depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. As a bare minimum, a high-potency muli-vitamin provides a good nutritional foundation upon which to build. When selecting a multi-vitamin and mineral formula, it is important to make sure that it provides the full range of vitamins and minerals at high potency levels. Deficiencies of a number of nutrients are quite common in depressed individuals. The most common deficiencies are folic acid, Vitamins B12 and B6. One of my favorite multi-vitamins is made by the Life Extension Foundation (www.lef.org). Not cheap, but I’ve always said that it wasn’t your normal multi-vitamin, but rather a multi-vitamin on steroids! (grin) Additionally, there’s some cutting edge work being done with amino acids (i.e., testing for excesses and deficiencies and with therapeutic supplementation). Amino acids directly affect brain chemistry. Have your healthcare professional check out the work of Braverman and Pfeiffer. They’re at the Brain Bio Institute in Princeton, NJ.

  2. Drugs (prescription, illicit, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, etc.)

  3. Hypoglycemia. Since the brain requires a constant supply of blood sugar, hypoglycemia must be avoided. Symptoms of hypoglycemia can range from mild to severe. Several studies have shown hypoglycemia to be very common in depressed individuals. Simply eliminating refined carbohydrates from the diet is occasionally all that is needed for effective therapy in patients who have depression due to reactive hypoglycemia.

  4. Hormonal factors. Depressive illness is often a first or early manifestation of thyroid disease, as even subtle decreases in available thyroid hormone are suspected of producing symptoms. Depressed patients should be screened for hypothyroidism, particularly if they complain of fatigue or have any other symnptoms suggestive of hypothyroidism. Dysfunction of the adrenal gland is also closely associated with depression and is often the result of stress.

  5. Allergies. Depression and fatigue ahve been linked to food allergies for over 65 years. Symptoms can include depression, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, drowsiness, difficulty in concentration and nervousness. There are comprehensive tests that can test for hidden (unknown) allergies, I believe over 100 different items. Some of the foods tested are surprisingly common foods like milk products, wheat, corn, peanuts, chocolate, wine, etc.

  6. Environmental factors. Heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and aluminum) as well as solvents (cleaning materials, formaldehyde, toluene, benzene, etc.), pesticides and herbicides have an affinity to nervous tissue and result in a variety of psycholgical and neurological symptoms. Detailed medical history and hair mineral analysis are good screening mechanisms for environmental toxicity. If the hair mineral analysis is inconclusive, a more sensitive indicator is the 8-hour lead mobilization test.

  7. Microbial factors

  8. Lifestyle factors. Particularly important is the cessation of smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and the intake of caffeine.

    Steve, just make a copy of this message and give it to your parents. Hopefully they can find a nutritionally savy, cutting-edge healthcare professional to work with you. I wish you the best of luck. And repeating, yes, stay away from those ECA stacks in any shape, manner or form.

Great post, TT! You’ve covered just about everything there. I would like to reiterate, though, the suggestions regarding sugar and processed carbohydrates. I’ve dealt with depression and the two things that helped me most are 1) a lower carb diet (or at least one with infrequent carb loads) that is comprised mostly of meats and vegetables, but no sugar or starches; and 2) cardiovascular exercise. Longer, slower runs used to help me a lot; something about the endorphine release from it as opposed to lifting.

Anyway Steve, I imagine you’re interested in fat loss since you asked about ephedrine, so the above recommendations may work well for you. But you also may want to consider trying another antidepressant. Not all work the same for everyone; in fact, some will make some symptoms worse. You may have to play around with them a little bit. Just be sure to take care of your mental health first-and-foremost over anything else; there is hope and you will pull out of this, it’s just going to take some work and some patience. Take care.

TT, I just read your post on the “Attn : Eric Cressey” thread, and NHE was exactly what I was referring to when I made the lower carb suggestions here. I’m following T-Dawg right now, but I think NHE can be great, especially for fatloss. That diet provided more results for me than any other I’ve ever tried.

Tyler, thanks for sharing your thoughts on NHE and your results. I’ve done low-carb on and off for quite a while, yet struggled mightily for less-than-spectacular results. With just some subtle changes, I’m seeing positive results very quickly. I’m thrilled. I can’t wait to see what happens when I start bulking. Who would have ever thought – a low-carb/ketogenic-type bulking cycle.

Thanks again, and great response to Steve!

Just in case you don’t take it, I would
recommend using fish oils, as they are
associated with reduced levels of depression.
And if you were looking into a non-drug
route, I would suggest checking out 5-HTP.
5-HTP is one step away from serotonin and
although the converting enzyme might be, in your case, the rate limiting step ,it may still be worth a try.

Hi, I used to take Prozac and ended up learning a lot about brain chemistry in the process.

Yes, you can NOT take ephedrine if you are taking an antidepressant, same reason you can’t drink. This is because the ephedrine will increase certain neurotransmitters such as beta-endorphines. Then, your brain will try to fight the increase by releasing more inhibitors. Consequently, the inhibitors make you feel worse when your endorphine levels go back down to normal (because the inhibitors stick around). Thus depression is caused and increased.

Addiction (you need to have your seratonin and endorphines artificially raised in order to overcome the inhibitors) and tolerance (each time you raise seratonin or endorphines, the inhibitors increase as well, thus you need even more next time) are also a direct result of the increase in inhibitors.

Zoloft and Prozac (and natural products like St Johns Wort) work to stop these inhibitors (as opposed to raising endorphines and seratonin directly, which is BAD). So if you take ephedrine or drink alcohol, raising your endorphines and seratonin, you will cause your brain to work extra hard to release inhibitors, thus counteracting the reason you are taking Zoloft in the first place. (Working out releases endorphines but to a lesser extent and not in a bad way).

Incidentally, this is why some recommend taking St John's Wort with ephedrine products, to keep the brain from becomming addicted to try to keep down tolerance of the ephedrine.

I read a great book a few years ago “Potatoes not Prozac” I don’t recommend going off drugs but it talks about brain chemistry and also shows how even sugar affects your brain by raising endorphine levels just like alcohol and cocaine do. Many alcoholics become “sugar junkies” or “chocoholics”, thus they actually maintain their addiction even though they aren’t drinking. Therefore, getting off of sugar will help with depression. So that is another reason to get off of the simple sugars and only eat complex carbs!

I have no idea what creatine does to the brain so I can’t answer that. Buy a book on brain chemistry the focuses on depression for lay people like us, and you and your parents also should read it, especially if they are saying crazy things like to stop taking the Zoloft.

take care,
chris b

Hey Steve, I also take an antidepressant (Wellbutrin) and found that when I took ephedrine (the old MD6, actually), it really screwed with my mood: I got more depressed. I think that’s why your doc told you not to use it. I think it might have something to do with norephinephrine/serotonin responses in the brain. For those of us whose brain chemistry is clinically off (vs. some of the unmedicate nutcases here :-> ) something like ephedrine can play havoc with the delicate balance we have found.
If you’re taking ephedrine to get lean, try the new T2; I had no ill effects from it and did get lean.
Biotest/T-Mag reps: how would Powerdrive affect those of us on antidepressants of various stripes?

yeah i am alone try to get out do things which helps, and am a college student, which might be a little yesi have been on ephedrine products, to help with diet since a little overweight not bad i workout a LOT which helps with moods its mostly at night when this occurs was going to try to get off ephedrine, but dont wanna really give up much else going to talk to doctor this week since been on antidepresants over 3 months, i got off them once before didnt hurt anyway heres run down what i take whey protein about 340-380 grams a day have done many mag-10 cycles am really strong, “m” extra vitamin C about 2 grams 800mcg a day of folic acid according to t-dawg diet, power drive and surge for post workouts , fish oil and flax ooil plenty of those about 2 grams of fish oil caps a day taking methoxy,tribex-m post cycle off mag 10 but finishing that up now i do live in one bedroom apt bymyself and moved here recently so dont know many people here since from another town

You took Wellbutrin with MD 6? DON’T DO THAT!!! Wellbutrin is an MAO inhibitor, don’t take ANYTHING, herbal or not, without consulting your pharmacist or physician. It clearly says on the bottle of MD-6 not to take it. Very bad stuff can happen, so be VERY careful what you take while on Wellbutrin, not even OTC cold medicines.

You do not want to take ephedrine while on Zoloft or any other drug of that class. Ephedrine will negate all the effects of Zoloft due to noradrenergic release. Focus on your diet,it will get you exactly where you want to go physique wise.Get well my friend.

Steve, it sounds like you’re taking in too much protein if you are, in fact, trying to lean out. I’m not sure how much you weigh, but I think with T-Dawg (which is what I am on) the recommended amount of protein per day is around 1 gram per lb of bodyweight. The excess protein you’re ingesting could very well be turning to glucose and hindering your fatloss.

Also, you mentioned that you went off of the Zoloft you’re taking once before, yet you’ve only been on it for 3-4 months? If you ever want to get off of a drug, you must do it slowly by reducing your dosage gradually and always under the supervision of your doc. Stopping all of a sudden can really throw you off and do a lot more harm than good. If Zoloft isn’t working for you, then you need to tell your doc so you can try something different.

From your last post it sounds as if you’ve been taking ephedrine for quite awhile. If so, you will need to get off of that very soon, but I would suggest that you also taper off of it just like you would the meds. If you’re lacking in energy and like the boost you get from it, you may want consider something like green tea pills or something. I know, caffeine isn’t a great idea, but it’s a hell of a lot better than ephedrine. If you decide to try that, plan to not stay on it for too long either. You’re in a rough spot, and you may have to pick some “lesser evils” until you get over this hump, but I would definitely suggest looking into other meds and losing the ephedrine. Oh yeah, and you may want to have your doc test your Vit D and testosterone levels if he/she hasn’t already. Low levels of either can lead to depression, so it’s a good idea to look at those. If you are on the lower end for Vit D, I would suggest taking Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil (great source of DHA/EPA). Best of luck to you.


Poman, while your advice is well intentioned I just wanted to point out that Wellbutrin is not a MAO inhibitor. Doctors are not exactly sure how Wellbutrin works but most recent evidence points to adrenergic mechanisms i.e. agonist. Taking MD6 with wellbutrin is risky as it might increase the incidence of seizures from wellbutrin but if you start low and go slow to feel it out you should be fine. I know people who have succesfully taken the two for a couple of months at a time and experienced no ill effects.

Your absolutely right! Sorry about the mistake, ( I was just testin ya ;)) I had better get that straight for my boards in 5 months, aye?

I wonder if it would be alright for you all to take an non-ephedra fat burner. The nnly ingredient that would be a cns stumulant would be caffeine, if you bought the right kind, one stacked with beta-3 androgonists and guggs. I