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Ephedra Addiction
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Ephedra Addiction

I have been taking ephedra products since 2000. They helped me with weight loss/maintenance and energy. I have not taken them for a month now and seem to be doing fine although I do crave them often. My question is the side effects of ephedra - and long term issues I may have. My digestive system has been 'out of whack' since I started taking them. Psychologically I believe they had major effects. I feel as though I was 'crazy' for that time frame. I developed a temper. I made irrational decisions. Often felt paranoid about everything. Over hyper and active... 'spaz'ish. I was completely emotional and over reacted to just about everything. Relationships with family and friends and men were constantly breaking.I can't seem to find much information out there about those types off problems - although I have seen some studies that discussed the psychological issues associated. It is almost as though I became a different person. I am wondering if the drug has permanent effects or am I probably screwed up for life. I have considered taking Lexapro temporarily - but, I just do not want to put any more drugs into my body as I no longer trust pharmaceuticals or herbals. My doctor seems to know nothing about this drug and its issues... only very little about the cardiac effects.

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Avatar_n_tn
oh boy, i happen to be the self titled resident expert on ephedra, it's sister drugs, and the reasons it is off the market.
(p.s. how were you getting it, b/c i haven't had a drop of it since 2002 when Marines were no longer allowed to take it, and then it eventually went off the market.)
first of all, i think ephedra is a wonderful drug, just as steroids, and thc all are.  unfortunately, everyone pays for the guys who uses is completely wrong and either blames the product or heaven forbid, dies.  of course, as with ALL supplements, some people simply should not take them.  ephedra is to blame for many of those, b/c there were not extensive enough tests to show the heart complications associated.
i myself was addicted to amphetamines before i joined the MC, so in place of that, i found the wonderful product 'RippedFuel'.  it made me superwoman.  i could run faster, study harder, and required less sleep.  but, i never ever took more than the recommended dosage, and i did on again/off again months.  now, w/o these recovery months, someone has no time to not only repair their body which has been burning and working about 35% more.  and lastly, it is addictive, i would say a little more than coffe, a little less than cigarettes (from personal experience).
but moving on, it does have some problems.  after taking it for approximately 3 years, i began to develop a condition called social phobia.  now, i don't know if it was because of, but i do think it was exacerbated by.
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Avatar_n_tn
speaking of those spazish moments.  i felt those too, but i really liked them.  i usually would take my two pills before a big run or hike, and they made me upbeat and straight up "ready to run".  but anytime the bad stuff started happening-feeling creeped out by being around people, staying up too late, or feeling tight chested, i would take a good long break.  but, keep in mind, i was 20 years old, in great physical shape, and the only other thing i put in my mouth was a multivitamin and
MC rations.  So, basically, I was the perfect candidate for the stuff, but i saw my girlfriends having somewhat different degrees of the same symptoms i had.
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh my goodness; I read your posted comment and I see that I am not alone.  I am addicted to ephedra; and I have been taking it since 1999.  I have all of the symptoms; including the phobia.  All of this time I just thought it was caused by a bad relationship( geez!).  I thought I was the only one experiencing this.  I have tried to stop taking this stuff a bunch of times; but I feel extremely fatigued after only a few days; and I feel like I have no energy for anything.  I end up ordering them again; just to get through my daily routines.  I admit that I take at least 8-10 pills a day.   I started taking them to increase my stamina; and alertness on the college sports team I played on; as well as to lose weight.  Ephedra worked wonders for me.  It gave me energy I had never had before and I felt like my personality "opened up". I also lost 30 pounds in only a few months.  I got so many compliments and made new friends quickly.  To this day I can drop weight within a week when I take it.  I'm addicted because ephedra helps with my energy with very little exercise; keeps me upbeat ( or I can be upbeat whenever I chose to).  I get more things done.  I'm very assertive ( people don't seem to challenge my views or opinions as much) & I am less forgetful. My side affects are insomnia, nervousness, anemic symptoms( low iron symptoms), addictive sexual appetite ( thinking about it constantly & sleeping with people who hurt me emotionally just to relieve the feeling), deppression, mood swings,compulsively worrying about my appearance ( phobia), temper issues,staying angry about things longer than I should( not being able to let issues go with things or people), more arguments with people; etc.  I feel so stuck because people do not know that I take ephedra so much, and my personality is somewhat based around it ( a little more outgoing, talkative, witty,sensual etc.).  When I stop taking it I am a more quiet and very calm person(people try to treat me like I am a pushover sometimes) , I look at personal issues differently( my relationships last longer) and I am kind of softspoken.  These latter traits are my natural personality.  I also gain a little weight; or I don't drop it half as quickly even if I exercise more.  I am also alot more forgetful; which is not good personally or professionally.  People who have known me always think something is wrong with me when I don't take it for a lonmg period of time!  I feel so stuck at this point.  I hate not having energy, gaining weight, and being more forgetful & softspoken.  But I don't like coffee & I feel like I need a stimulant to keep me at bay.  I feel so stuck & almost to the point that I am unsure of who I am or want to be ( personality wise).  I am an undercover mess.  Everyday I just wish I could just go to detox or something; or try to live my life without ephedra; but I am afraid of disrupting my social lifestyle  I hope someone can offer suggestions...
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Avatar_n_tn
I haven't had ephedra since 2003 and since then I have put on a lot of weight. Everything I use to do with the assistance of ephedra doesn't work. I'm just wondering how you were still able to get a hold of it now. Every kind of ephedra product that is on the market now doesn't do anything for me at all because they aren't in the same form they use to be...I suppose.
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Avatar_n_tn
Does anyone know can i take Ephedra in the Marine Corps now ?  Also, whats the difference between Ephedra and Ephedrine?  Thanks.
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233181_tn?1235186752
If you go to yahoo and type just ehedra, a list of different categories will come up. You can do the same with ephedrine on yahoo. I know ephedrine is sold as an asthma medication. It still produces a feeling of energy if taken in higher doses than directed. I don't know if they are habit forming or not. Perhaps phycologically addicting. However I have heard of users of suboxone may take ephedrine as it does help with the fatigue some users of suboxone experience. When asked why it is present in U/A tests it can be told it was in Sudafed as it contains pseudoephedrine so I am told. Its amazing what some people will do to get buy.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was a personal tainer in the late 90's for Golds Gym, and lived on Ripped Fuel. I was taking 2 and 3x the recommended dosage during those days, as I was training clients as early as 4am on most days. Then with all the sudden deaths in high school, college and professional sports, the FDA (I think) pulled it off the market. And whoever wrote the response somewhere above was correct, it should have never been pulled off the market, because the abusers ruined it (and I was one, but I lived anyway). I still take ephedrine/caffeine stack, and it has a very similar affect, but it is not a very healthy thing to do. You can still order ephedra as an herb on the internet. I have bought ephedra, guarana, yohimbe and 2 other herbs, just cant remember right now. You can brew them as a tea, the only problem being, if you dont know what you are doing and get the wrong quantity in the tea mix, you will feel like your heart is going to explode.

When using ephedra or ephedrine, you run your blood pressure high, and anything can happen, you just never know. The one problem I always worried about when using was that taking ephedra products causes the body to release norepinephrine (not quite sure about the term) but the more you take, the less your body can make and release, which leaves you ina depleted state. It's just not good for the body to be tapped of this natural chemical.

I ran into some very life threatening conditions from 2000 to this year, and went from a 225 pound, 7 percent bodyfat trainer, to almost in the grave. I was taking a lot of over the counter supplements at the time, but I will always believe the ephedra abuse I put my body through almost did me in. If you can use it occasionally, I think its ok, but there is such a potential for abuse and addiction with its use. Besides, the ephedrine sold today is monitored closely by the supplement stores due to it being a precursor to the production of meth. I know here in California, you have to sign and fill out a form when buying it.
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342793_tn?1196403864
yeah i know what you are going through.  i was up to 100 pills a DAY OVER A PERIOD OF 10 YEARS. yes your going to be psychologically effected forever. they changed your whole brain chemistry. all the wiring is different now. now comes depression, anxiety, stress etc. i am with ya we are screwed.  i have been off for a year. tired all the time it sucks. if you ever need to chat call me
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Avatar_n_tn
I am at the beginning of recovery.  I have been on ephedra products on and off for 11 years.  I have stayed a size 0 anytime i am taking it.  I feel huge when i stop and i feel depressed and tired.  My blood pressure has always been low so it hasn't effected me that way. It gets me going.  It does however make me forgetful and it confuses me sometimes.  I stopped taking it about 10 days ago because i went into the hospital for an unrelated issue and just like most ephedra users as I live the lie that I don't take anything to act as peppy as i am. It makes me aggressive and jokingly i refer to myself as the shy flower.  I miss it and i am not sure that i am ever going to feel normal again.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just thought I would share a fact about me and this ephedra!

Im pretty sure that that is what is in mini-thins which I bought from a store when I was about 15-16yrs old.  I bought 4 packs that had 8 in each one. I TOOK EVERY SINGLE PACK AT ONE TIME.. I was running around my friends house brathing like crazy and freaking out!  They had to drop me at the front door of the ER and leave me!

They pumped my stomach and gave me some black charcol sh!t.  I thought I was going to die, and the DR said if I had waited even 5 more mintues my heart would have exploded! Imagine what it has done to my heart!
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352798_tn?1399301754
I hate to break the news but this is a very old post from 2004. Please start a new post. [Post A Question]
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Avatar_m_tn
i have been in the nutrition field/supplement study for many years.
i work one day a week in a health food store that sells ephedra.
ephedra/ephedrine, basically the same stuff.
long-term use has been shown in studies to cause *permanent*
nerve damage, and adversely affects adrenal glands.  not a good
thing to burn yourself out on.  it is over stimulating the CNS, and
while i agree, short-term in young people are generally safe, but
long-term or use in people over 40 i regularly discourage, it's like
a time-bomb you're holding.  gain now for pain later.
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Avatar_n_tn
My wife of 14 years, died at age 38, this past August from a heart attack brought on by her long term use of ephedra.  She leaves behind a husband, and four beautiful children.  Before, she started taking this "drug", she was the most wonderful person I had ever met in my life.  She had high morals, high integity, high character.  She cared for people, she loved people.  She would do anything for anybody.  At the height of her addiction, she was mean, she was callous, she was selfish and self-centered.  She treated the kids horribly.  She was mean to them.  She neglected them.  She lied, she cheated on me many times.  She became a completely different person.  She became someone I didn't even like anymore.  I could go on, and on about the destruction she brought on herself and the family. So, if you want to continue taking this stuff, you're playing with fire.  You could end up destroying your life and the lives of everyone who loved you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello everyone
All the post I've just finshed reading make me so upset. I have never been drunk, smoked or have done any type of drug in my life but I was
addicted to Ripped fuel for 8 years. I'm a 6.1 200 bodybuilder and it
turned me into a monster. I lost my girlfriend of 8 years. had many
panic and rage attacks. I became a danger to myself and to anyone
that crossd me. Now the truth is you can fully recover from it with
a high fat diet which will rebuild all of the hormes and damaged nervs
that took place from it. I never took more then 2 per day but just those
2 scares me now when I look back...any questions on how to reverse effects or problems email me at>***@****. God bless and good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
WOW,,, I took ephedrine for 10+ years , same reasons as everyonelse,, plus after a horrible experince with an anti-depessant, I discovered the ephedrine worked soooooo much better in my body than those pills from the doctor for giving me energy and getting rid of the blues. It made me feel excited to wake up and start each day!

HOWEVER...... in 2004 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma,, which is a cancer of the immune/lymphatic/blood system. ANYTHING that goes through your body goes through the lymphatic/adreanal system and boy do these HCI chemicals do a number on the body. I wont say I KNOW ephedrine had something to do with the lymphatic cancer... but since its generally caused by toxic chemical overload, and I was soaking/pickling my body in 6-10 pills a day for years.. I strongly suspect it played a big roll.

After going through chemotherapy for 5 months, loosing my hair and almost dying a couple of times from the treatments and ensuing infections... I survived obviousely. I had NO energy during chemo, so naturally once it was over and done I started taking just the recommended dosage of ephedrine of 3 pills a day,,, until I started feeling achy and just generally crappy when on the stuff. I was afraid I wouldnt be able to feel good again if I totally quit again (I didnt take any during chemo) but finally made the decision to stop as my new years resolution..... and much to my amazement I had no withdrawls at all really. so I think most of my 'addiction' was in my head.

The med had helped me during a depressive state, but since Im no longer depressed and the pills seemed to make me feel worse now,, quitting was a positive experince. Its now been a month,, I take B-6 wihch seems to boost my energy a little,, OH but I recently had a boute of pnemonia (pneumonia) (ephedrine keeps the lungs liquidy and open which is a boon for smokers but also makes it hard to rid ones self of mucus when your NOT on it) and the doctor did a CBC that showed my body is dumping potassium for reasons unknown. For those unaware, potassium plays a big roll in heart/nerve function,,, and Iv noticed palpatations which were frightening. I was worried Id done permanant damage,, but Iv since found if I go easy on caffine (I only drink mabey 1 small coffee a day now) they dont seem to happen near as much.

Best wishes to all,,, and thankyou for sharing your experinces here with ephedrine,,, it REALLY helped me feel Im not alone and thats the hardest part of any addiction.. the solitude of no one understanding what your going  through or why.

Sincerely, Jennifer
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Avatar_f_tn
do NOT take Yombine with a stimulant unless you want to take a huge risk of seretonin syndrome which is where the blood pressure drops low enough to kill you. Yombine is an herbal MAO inhibitor and combined with many things, stimulants as well as depressants and even SSRI's , can lead to sudden death, BAD idea! :-(

Do your research before putting anything into your system seriouse, dont take anyones word for it.
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Avatar_f_tn
quote" i was up to 100 pills a DAY OVER A PERIOD OF 10 YEARS. yes your going to be psychologically effected forever. they changed your whole brain chemistry. all the wiring is different now. now comes depression, anxiety, stress etc."

I agree with this and your situation sounds similiar to my own,, BUT, I tapered down to 3 pills a day over the course of about a year, noticed I was still having 'overload' symptoms even though I knew my body could not be saturated and I was doing it a huge favor by giving my lymphs/adreanals a rest,, continued to cut down as I neared the end of the last pack just before 08 to one pill then half a pill per day.... and havent touched the stuff since Dec 31st.

Im calmer, not feeling shakey (shaky) all the time now (people used to comment on that all the time lol) and find even caffine makes me feel 'icky' speedy now. So there is hope,, I just think even though I took it for years, the addiction only applies at large quantities and even then is more psychological than physical. The body craves the energy,, but that can be corrected by a gradual taper,,, the lack of focus and energy was for me far harder to deal with until the effects became more negative then positive.

*bows in respect and apprication for my peers here*
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Avatar_f_tn
I just read all these responses on here... I have been taking ephedra since 2006.. and have ALL of the same symptoms. My boyfriend basically thought I was psycho at the peak of it all, because my moods were soo sporatic..angry/paranoid to crying over absolutely nothing the next!  I stopped taking supplements in January.. I crave it still soo bad, but also have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, to boot. my T3 is way low on the charts and my one porcelin complexion broke out soo bad. I did a hormonal panel and keep in mind i am 20 years old.. my testosterone level was 2,147! Thank god I never had any male features or anything from that.. I have since been told to do a liver/colon detox, once a month for the next 6 months.. my weight still yo-yos extremely because you know with ephedra it kills your appetite an is like a diuretic...so i just binge!. I just do not feel like the same person anymore. Friends would say I was depressed, i'm just tired and when i was taking the ephed/caffiene stacks , despite the jittery part, i could concentrate, didnt need much sleep and my work outs in the gym were not nearly as long and the weight just peeled off.. i went from 143-126 in 2 months... I made even more friends and life seemed like it couldnt be any better... now I feel as though i've hit rock bottom...

does anyone have ANY advice? I feel like absolute sh*t!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I just read all these responses on here... I have been taking ephedra since 2006.. and have ALL of the same symptoms. My boyfriend basically thought I was psycho at the peak of it all, because my moods were soo sporatic..angry/paranoid to crying over absolutely nothing the next!  I stopped taking supplements in January.. I crave it still soo bad, but also have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, to boot. my T3 is way low on the charts and my one porcelin complexion broke out soo bad. I did a hormonal panel and keep in mind i am 20 years old.. my testosterone level was 2,147! Thank god I never had any male features or anything from that.. I have since been told to do a liver/colon detox, once a month for the next 6 months.. my weight still yo-yos extremely because you know with ephedra it kills your appetite an is like a diuretic...so i just binge!. I just do not feel like the same person anymore. Friends would say I was depressed, i'm just tired and when i was taking the ephed/caffiene stacks , despite the jittery part, i could concentrate, didnt need much sleep and my work outs in the gym were not nearly as long and the weight just peeled off.. i went from 143-126 in 2 months... I made even more friends and life seemed like it couldnt be any better... now I feel as though i've hit rock bottom...

does anyone have ANY advice? I feel like absolute sh*t!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I just read all these responses on here... I have been taking ephedra since 2006.. and have ALL of the same symptoms. My boyfriend basically thought I was psycho at the peak of it all, because my moods were soo sporatic..angry/paranoid to crying over absolutely nothing the next!  I stopped taking supplements in January.. I crave it still soo bad, but also have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, to boot. my T3 is way low on the charts and my one porcelin complexion broke out soo bad. I did a hormonal panel and keep in mind i am 20 years old.. my testosterone level was 2,147! Thank god I never had any male features or anything from that.. I have since been told to do a liver/colon detox, once a month for the next 6 months.. my weight still yo-yos extremely because you know with ephedra it kills your appetite an is like a diuretic...so i just binge!. I just do not feel like the same person anymore. Friends would say I was depressed, i'm just tired and when i was taking the ephed/caffiene stacks , despite the jittery part, i could concentrate, didnt need much sleep and my work outs in the gym were not nearly as long and the weight just peeled off.. i went from 143-126 in 2 months... I made even more friends and life seemed like it couldnt be any better... now I feel as though i've hit rock bottom...

does anyone have ANY advice? I feel like absolute sh*t!!!!
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401095_tn?1351395370
you need to make a new post to bump this up to the top...I had a friend with an ephedra problem
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been on ephedra on and off mainly on except when i was pregnant for 8-10 yrs.I want to quit sooo bad, but it is the hardest thing i have ever done and havent been able to do so without starting back!..I cant stand being soo tired and now i have two children.I am scared to death this is gonna kill me. I am going to quit and i hope everyone will pray for me please!..This willl be the last time...No more starting back. I am so scared of gaing alot of wt. it is soo hard and esp. when u are coming off those pills, u dont even feel like breathing!I am soooo scared is all i can say. I dunno the best way to quit.Any suggestions?
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401095_tn?1351395370
post a new question as this is an old post..ephdra speeds u up..so i am thinking it may be like amphetamines..anyway..post a new question to draw more attn to ur post
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997251_tn?1287428201
I've read all these posts, and I know I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm addicted but I don't have any negative side effects; the temper, the moodswings, etc. It's been nothing but good for me. But it's got such a bad rap and right now I'm the only person I know addicted to it, so I don't have anyone to talk to. My husband is very supportive, but even he doesn't know what to do or how to help.
The tired/sleepiness and the nausea are two things I hate above all else. Fenegrin (sp) for nausea makes me sleepy so I can't even take that at work. I work overnight, six pm to six am as a law enforcement dispatcher. There is a stigma attached to this drug so I don't even know who I can trust at my job to either tell or seek help from.
I've seen one show in my whole life dealing with this addiction, and that was an episode of Dr. Phil. I am not a fan, but I've been very tempted to write him a letter asking what I should do. I've kicked cigarettes (18 years) and alcohol (11 years) but this just seems to be the one thing I can't get off of.

My deepest respect and all my prayers to everyone who has written and shared your stories. It helps just knowing I'm not alone.

Lisa~
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 27 and I have been taking ephedra off and on for almost 10 years.  In high school and college I used it to decrease my appetite, lose weight, and enhance my exercise.  For the last several years, I have merely used it to stay awake.  I no longer lose weight or eat less when I take it.  I have much more energy and I get more done.  When I run out, all I want to do is sleep and eat.  I haven't had any adverse effects yet, but I am afraid it is only a matter of time.  I have a 4 year old daughter and I am trying to have another baby.  For the last 5 months I have been taking ephedra for two weeks at a time and from ovulation to my menstrual cycle I quit taking it (in case I am pregnant).  For those two to three weeks I gain about 10 pounds.  It has started to consume my life. My productivity has gone down at work and at home.  I feel like every part of my life is suffering from it.  None of my friends or family know that I am addicted.  I decided two weeks ago that I was sick and tired of depending on it and that I wanted my life back.  I have decided to force myself to exercise- ephedra free- every day so that I can get natural energy and joy.  I haven't lost much weight (my metabolism is so out of whack it is ridiculous) but I feel so much happier and healthier.  Everyday is a struggle to keep from binge eating and to make myself exercise.  I pray and hope that I can keep it up.  I need to do this for my marriage, my daughter, my job, and my life.  Pray for me!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been using ephedrine for about 10 years also.  I have not been feeling well lateley but have chalked it up to menopause.  However, after listening to all of you, I think I may try to live with just one a day.  I have only been taking about three a day or 75 mgs.  I am 55 years old and everyone thinks I am much younger. When I drink, I still feel absolutely fantanstic.  However, when I am not drinking I have malaise.  I am wondering if it is the efphedra.,
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes. I have the same problem. It won't stop until you quit completely or keep drinking while on it. Occasionally drinking is fine alone but as long as you're taking the ephedrine you're gonna want to drink as well to feel like you want. I promise. Ephedrine and drinking go hand and hand with me.
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9986045_tn?1407094249
I've been taking ephedrine for about 6 years, anywhere from 20 to 30 pi[[s a day. reading these posts and seeing a couple about nerve damage. I'm now wondering if the numbness in my hands and arms I've been feeling for the last few years could be caused by my ephedrine abuse and if I'll stuck with it... I am unable to purchase it any longer. I'm not sure what I've been going through can be considered withdrawals are not. I think a lot of what  is hurting and effecting me now is linked to it.
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