T Nation


This may be a stupid question but I thought that ephedrine was illlegal now? I was in a gas station this morning and they were selling bottles of pure ephedrine. I know that there aren’t any supplements that use it any more but is it legal to sell the pure stuff??

I also would like to hear what everyone else thinks regarding the safety and/or side effects of it.

No, selling it as a fat loss aid is “illegal”. It can still be found in many decongestants and bronchial dialators, usually combined with an expectorant. You can buy it online as such. Of course, if people start making this wide spread news as far as being used for fat loss, it will be pulled as well.

Yup 25mg of Ephedrine HCL + 200MG of Caffeine + Power Drive will kick ass. I love it but i don’t do it often with ephedrine. I have enough to last me a couple more years so that’s why I haven’t tried Red Bands yet. LOL

It’s the difference between closely regulated drug, and less regulated supplements.

Ephedrine is an over-the-counter drug that is used as a decongestant, primarily in allergy medicine. Since it is classified as a drug, it can only be used for prescribed purposes, and is generally made by pharmaceutical companies.

Ephedra is an herbal supplement that contains Ephedrine alkaloids. As a dietary supplement, it’s less regulated, and was often sold as a weight loss supplement.

Ephedra was banned. Ephedrine was not. However, some states have voluntarily banned the sale of ephedrine.

As far as use, personally I think it’s a fairly safe weight loss supplement, provided YOU FOLLOW COMMON SENSE. In other words, do NOT get into that “more is better” mindset, and start overdoing it. 20-25mg, up to three times per day, is all you should be taking.

Also, I would personally recommend not using it for more than 3-4 weeks at a time, and taking a break of approximately equal length following it’s use. I’ve had great success with alternating 3 weeks on, 4 weeks off, and alternating cutting with bulking/power work in accordance.

However, if you do have a history of high blood pressure, heart disease, or seizures, you should probably skip ephedrine.

The whole banning of Ephedra really pissed me off for several reasons, the biggest one of all being the news stories about the death of Steve Bechler, a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. Many people forgot to mention that Bechler had a history of high blood pressure, as well as I believe a family history of heart troubles. Bechler was an overweight athlete who should never have been taking a supplement like ephedra, a THERMOGENIC, which will raise blood pressure, make your heart beat faster, etc, especially when he’s an athlete that competes outdoors in an environment that will already put your body at risk for heat related illnesses…Basically, we all got screwe because the old men in the government got scared that ephedra was killing so many people, when in actuality, it has killed less than 200 to date, while aspirin kills over 500 a year, so I guess that’s next on the banned list…

In regards to the selling issue, I have asked at various gas stations and they have all told me the same thing: They can continue selling their current supplies until they run out. After they are gone, then it is truly no more ephedrine.

In addition to the Steve Belcher case (you forgot to mention that he was taking at least 50% more than label dosage, according to a team mate, and that he had moved from a cold to a hot – Arizona – environment only days prior), I did a search on Medscape for case histories. In EVERY report, the “victim” had (a) pre-existing conditions that would normally preclude usage; (b) not ramped dosage to guage reactions; © gone over the recommended label dosage; (d) gone well past recommended duration; or (e) ignored early warning signs of problems. And in most cases, more than one of these. There were NOT, in spite of so many scare alerts, any cases I found where a person kicked the bucket from one dose of ephedrine. And when I took this message to several triathlon boards, where they were all touting this stuff as second only to a bullet to the head, I was verbally accosted, some by MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS, as being crazy or being a dealer in supplements with a personal interest to protect. Whatever…

[quote]erikeve wrote:
This may be a stupid question but I thought that ephedrine was illlegal now?[/quote]

My understanding is that the production, distribution, and advertisement of ephedra as a fat-loss supplement is now illegal, except for existing retail stock. So if you have three thousand bottles in a warehouse, tough shit, but if you have forty in the back room of your store you can still sell them.

I buy my ephedra (Lipodrene) from a local store which keeps the bottles under the counter and only sells it to known customers who ask for it. Their explanation is that while they’re permitted to sell their remaining stock in the product, they don’t think it’s responsible to put the bottles out on the shelf for just anyone to buy. They prefer to have some assurance that the person buying it is reasonably knowledgeable about the risks.

Read the label. ALL of the label. If you see anything at all that you have any clue you MIGHT want to be concerned about, check with your doctor.

That said, remember that a lot of people took ephedra for a long time and are still just fine. A lot of other people did stupid crap like not read the label, not talk to their doctor, and triple the dosage to make it work faster. Those people, oddly enough, had problems. Don’t be one of those people.

I’ve been on it for three weeks, and I have had zero side effects. I also don’t get the “buzz” effect people report from it, and the appetite suppressing effect seems less pronounced than people tend to claim. I chalk a lot of this up to my general drug tolerance, which frightens anesthesiologists.

There’s definitely been an effect on my fat loss; I spent three weeks doing nothing but lifting, no fat-loss supplements at all, and my body fat didn’t budge. Then I started the ephedra, and my body fat rapidly dropped from 28% to 22% over the next month. I’m not prepared to say that’s all the doing of the ephedra, though, because I’ve also been aggressively modifying my cardio and diet, which is undoubtedly partially responsible.