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  • Type: Sympathomimetic, Pressors
  • Dosage Forms:
  • Routes of Administration: IV; ephedrine directly from ephedra plant may be consumed PO as component of traditional chinese medicine
  • Common Trade Names:

Adult Dosing

  • Hypotension in setting of analgesia: 5-10mg IV bolus, repeat prn, max dose 50mg

Pediatric Dosing

Safety/efficacy not established

Special Populations

Pregnancy Rating

  • Fetal risk cannot be ruled out

Lactation risk

  • Infant risk cannot be ruled out

Renal Dosing

  • Adult: not established

Hepatic Dosing

  • Adult: Not established


  • Allergy to class/drug
  • Closed angle glaucoma, Pheochromocytoma [1]
  • Caution if using postpartum with concomitant oxytocics
  • Caution in severe hypertension, history of cardiac disease
  • Caution with concomitant use of norepi-dopa reuptake inhibitors (e.g. bupropion, Ritalin)

Adverse Reactions




  • Half-life: 6h
  • Metabolism:
  • Excretion: Renal

Mechanism of Action

  • Sympathomimetic: stimulates both alpha and beta adrenergic receptors


  • Ephedrine in its natural plant form, known as má huáng (麻黄), used in traditional chinese medicine as decongestant, bronchodilator
  • Ephedrine used historically (now illicitly) for weight-loss and recreationally as stimulant due to its' amphetamine-like properties

See Also