Ephedrine is a medication used to prevent low blood pressure during spinal anesthesia. It has also been used for asthma, narcolepsy, and obesity but is not the preferred treatment. It can be taken by mouth or by injection into a muscle, vein, or just under the skin. Onset with intravenous use is fast, while injection into a muscle can take 20 minutes, and by mouth can take an hour for effect. When given by injection it lasts about an hour and when taken by mouth it can last up to 4 hours.
Ephedrine is NOT an anabolic steroid, but belongs to the group of beta-symphatomimetics, which is also the popular agent clenbuterol. Beta-symphatomimetics are characterized by the fact that they stimulate the beta-receptors of the body, which lead to positive changes in, among other things, the adipose tissue and muscles. Stimulation of the beta-receptors in the adipose tissue has the consequence that fatty acids are split more and can thus be used in the form of free fatty acids for energy supply. In addition, ephedrine also stimulates the release of norepinephrine, the effect of which is very similar to that of adrenaline by increasing the activity of the central nervous system on the one hand and, on the other hand, also directly affecting the cells of the body.
The drug may be applied subcutaneously, intramuscularly and intravenously. It should be known that even the lowest therapeutic doses in normotensive patients may lead to elevation of arterial pressure by 15-20 mm Hg. In patients with severe hypotension Ephedrinum hydrochloricum should be applied with caution and to use maximum the highest therapeutic doses for a short period of time, when it is necessary to take extra measures to correct the arterial pressure like infusion of volume-substitution solutions. As a pressor drug, Ephedrinum hydrochloricum is applied usually subcutaneously or intramuscularly in a dose of 25-50 mg at dosage limits of 10-50 mg. If necessary, an extra intramuscular dose of 50 mg or 25 mg intravenously may be applied. The intravenous application is carried out always slowly and it is recommended even to apply it as a drip infusion for a period of 5-10 min approximately. The maximum parenteral daily dose for adults should not exceed 150 mg. In children it is applied at a daily dose of 3 mg/kg or 100 mg/m2 skin surface subcutaneously or intravenously, divided in 4 to 6 applications.