Ephedrine Dosage & Side Effects

 

Ephedrine, like nearly all sympathomimetics and stimulants where fat loss is concerned, does not exhibit much flexibility and/or variety in its dosing scheme or even how it can be cycled. Although Ephedrine does hold a small degree of application outside of fat loss goals, the main focus of Ephedrine doses within bodybuilding and athletics is that of fat loss. In this sense, Ephedrine is utilized almost exclusively as a fat loss agent. Even within its application as an energy booster or temporary strength performance booster, these are merely secondary side-benefits for most people who tend to use it for fat loss.

Unlike Clenbuterol, Ephedrine dosages are measured in the more common mg (milligram) measurement rather than the mcg (microgram) measurement that Clenbuterol uses. When Ephedrine was openly sold as a fat loss supplement in the supplement stores, Ephedrine doses could be commonly found in 25mg or 50mg tablets (or a proprietary blend within capsules that would contain 25 – 50mg of Ephedrine within it). Due to the increasing restrictions on Ephedrine sale during the 2000s, Ephedrine can still be purchased in states where it is more readily available, but might be limited to very small amounts per tablet (4mg tablets, for example). Outside of the United States, Ephedrine doses can commonly be found in its 25 – 50mg tablet range. In Canada, Ephedrine can be bought and sold openly and freely as long as it is in concentrations no greater than 8mg per tablet.

Ephedrine is also often combined with caffeine for its synergistic effect in enhancing the fat loss effects, and has demonstrated in studies to promote moderate fat loss in obese individuals[1] [2] and has even demonstrated to enhance fat loss by an extra 1kg/month on average[3]. Furthermore, the use of Ephedrine both with and without caffeine has been shown to be safe and effective when utilized properly and diligently, as evidenced by studies[4] [5]. An average of 200mg of caffeine is normally utilized alongside each application of Ephedrine. This is commonly known as the EC stack or E/C stack (Ephedrine and caffeine stack). Furthermore, Aspirin is often combined with it, which is also commonly known as the ECA stack or E/C/A stack. However, the use of Aspirin is very questionable due to conflicting theories and a lack of clinical data to support it, and does present a greater degree of health risks during use, especially in those whom blood thinners such as Aspirin would present issues. It is for this reason that many will simply utilize Ephedrine as the EC stack without the A (Aspirin).

Medical Ephedrine Dosage

Ephedrine doses within the medical establishment are for the purpose of treating nasal congestion, asthma, and bronchitis, as well as acting as a treatment for seasickness. For the purpose of treating nasal congestion, asthma, and bronchitis, the recommended Ephedrine doses are approximately 8mg administered once every several hours, not exceeding 24mg in one day. For the purpose of treating seasickness, Ephedrine is often combined with Promethazine where Ephedrine doses are 25mg alongside 25mg of Promethazine. Promethazine is responsible for eliminating the seasickness but tends to present drowsiness and fatigue, which is what Ephedrine is designed to counteract.

Ephedrine Dosage for Fat Loss

Ephedrine is used almost exclusively as a fat loss agent, and as such, the target effective Ephedrine doses are normally the equivalent for all users (beginners, intermediates, and advanced). Ephedrine doses must often be slowly ramped upwards over a period of several days until the full peak dose is reached, after which the user will remain on this peak dose for the duration use. Because Ephedrine is a stimulant, rapid increases of Ephedrine doses (or immediate full administration of the peak dose) can often be extremely discomforting and even fatal for the user. Therefore, it is strongly advised that individuals slowly increase their Ephedrine doses steadily over a period of days, slowly working up to the desired peak dose (this is what was previously referred to as the ramp-up, or ramping up). What one person’s optimal and comfortable dose is may often not be the same for a different individual, and is often due to body weight, gender type, and size.

A peak fat burning dose for Ephedrine would typically be in the range of 50 – 150mg per day, split into 2 – 3 doses throughout the day (spread evenly apart due to Ephedrine’s shorter half-life of 3 – 6 hours). An example of this would be:

Ephedrine use at 90mg/day total (peak dose)
– 8:00am: 30mg of Ephedrine
– 12:00pm: 30mg of Ephedrine
– 3:00pm: 30mg of Ephedrine

If caffeine is utilized with Ephedrine, a typical dose of 200mg of caffeine would typically be taken with each application of Ephedrine. In this example, the peak daily Ephedrine dose is 90mg/day and the peak application dose of Ephedrine is 30mg. As previously mentioned, it is very crucial that individuals slowly ramp the dose upwards especially if they are a beginner or are very sensitive to stimulants.

Outline of Proper Ramp-Up Dosing Protocol (for Ephedrine at 90mg/day total peak dose)
– Day 1: 10mg of Ephedrine in each application (3 applications daily)
– Day 6: 20mg of Ephedrine in each application (3 applications daily)
– Day 12: 30mg of Ephedrine in each application (3 applications daily)
The user now remains at 90mg/day (or 30mg of Ephedrine 3 times per day) for the duration of the Ephedrine cycle

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There are individuals who exhibit reduced sensitivities to Ephedrine (and to most stimulants), and these individuals may be able to increase their dose faster and in greater amounts (i.e. every three days instead of every six days as listed). The opposite of this condition is also true for those with hypersensitivity to Ephedrine and related stimulants, where the slow ramp-up dosing scheme may require a slower less frequent increase of Ephedrine doses.

Female Ephedrine Dosages

The female response to Ephedrine is, for the most part, the exact same as the male response to Ephedrine doses. The only notable difference is the fact that females possess a smaller overall body mass and body weight than males do, and this could possibly affect both the sensitivity to Ephedrine as well as the peak dose required. The peak dose required for females, due to smaller body weight and body mass, is often lower. With this being said, it is important to note that Ephedrine doses are not set-in-stone, and are commonly open to adjustment and personalization according to the individual.

Proper Administration and Timing of Ephedrine Doses

Ephedrine exhibits a half-life of 3 – 6 hours, which would necessitate multiple daily doses spread evenly apart. The common protocol in this regard is, on average, 2 – 3 applications per day as outlined previously. This should maintain steady and stable blood levels so that its effects are constant and steady.

Expectations and Results from Ephedrine Dosages

Ephedrine will provide, in most people, an appetite suppressing effect that should aid in the ability to adhere much better to a strict nutritional regimen that should normally be a caloric deficit so as to initiate fat loss that the Ephedrine will then carry along. Following this, Ephedrine should provide assisted fat loss throughout its use in combination with a nutrition regime favors fat loss. The expected fat loss as a result of Ephedrine’s assistance can vary between individuals, but studies referenced earlier have demonstrated an additional 2.2 lbs. per month compared to placebos.

Ephedrine Side Effects 

Because Ephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine and a stimulant, Ephedrine side effects are identical to those of any other stimulant compound. All compounds that are members of the stimulant family of drugs (for example, Caffeine, ClenbuterolAlbuterol, Cocaine, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, etc.) will all exhibit the same side effects, more or less. This is to say that although all are stimulants and therefore share the same types of side effects, some of them will exhibit more of a particular side effect than others, and this includes the level of intensity of some side effects. The best possible example would be the comparison between Clenbuterol side effects and Ephedrine side effects, whereby both will normally exhibit tremors (shaky hands), but this is commonly reported to be more pronounced with Clenbuterol than it is with Ephedrine. In fact, many users anecdotally report that tremors and shaking might not be experienced at all.

General Ephedrine side effects will include the potential side effects of all CNS stimulants. These include: tremors (shaky hands), insomnia, sweating, headaches, heightened blood pressure, dizziness, and nausea. Stimulants like Ephedrine also exhibit the potential for some side effects that are not commonly listed, such as psychological side effects. These psychological side effects can include: anxiety, heightened euphoric sensation (improved mood), and depression (resulting from a possible ‘stimulant crash’ following cessation of use). The less common and rarer side effects associated with stimulants (predominantly associated with overdoses) include: tachycardia (rapid heart rate), irregular heart rate, rapid breathing, severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Because Ephedrine is considered a much stronger and more pronounced stimulant than caffeine, a common guideline for individuals approaching or considering Ephedrine use for the first time is the suggestion that individuals who do not take well to the effects of caffeine should likely avoid the use of Ephedrine, as its effects are much stronger in nature. Similarly, those who find other stimulants such as caffeine to be very tolerable and/or minor will likely be able to tolerate the stimulant effects of Ephedrine better than most.

Ephedrine side effects include severe and distinct appetite suppression, more so than other stimulants (even Clenbuterol in most cases). The appetite suppressing ability of Ephedrine is commonly welcomed during periods of dieting for obvious reasons, and is actually often a common ingredient in prescription appetite suppressants that include Ephedrine as one of multiple ingredients in them. Because of Ephedrine’s nature as a stimulant and its effects on the CNS, blood pressure, and the cardiovascular system in general, it is highly advisable that any individual considering Ephedrine use should undergo various medical tests in order to confirm or disqualify the existence of any underlying medical or congenital diseases/conditions (especially where cardiac tissue is concerned) that could be worsened by Ephedrine use. If an individual considering Ephedrine is knowingly suffering from (or has a history of) cardiac issues, elevated blood pressure problems, or thyroid problems, he/she should refrain from Ephedrine use at all costs.

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Ephedrine References:

[1]  “In total, these suggest that herbal ephedra/caffeine herbal supplements, when used as directed by healthy overweight men and women in combination with healthy diet and exercise habits, may be beneficial for weight reduction without significantly increased risk of adverse events.” C N Boozer1, P A Daly, P Home, J L Solomon, D Blanchard, J A Nasser, R Strauss and T Meredith “Herbal ephedra/caffeine for weight loss: a 6-month randomized safety and efficacy trial” Int J Obes May 2002, Volume 26, Number 5, Pages 593-604.

[2] Ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin: safety and efficacy for treatment of human obesity. Daly PA, Krieger DR, Dulloo AG, Young JB, Landsberg L. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1993 Feb;17 Suppl 1:S73-8.

[3] “Efficacy and Safety of Ephedra and Ephedrine for Weight Loss and Athletic Performance: A Meta-analysis”. Paul G. Shekelle, MD, PhD; Mary L. Hardy, MD; Sally C. Morton, PhD; Margaret Maglione, MPP; Walter A. Mojica, MD, MPH; Marika J. Suttorp, MS; Shannon L. Rhodes, MFA; Lara Jungvig, BA; James Gagné, MD JAMA. 2003;289:1537-1545.

[4] “In total, these suggest that herbal ephedra/caffeine herbal supplements, when used as directed by healthy overweight men and women in combination with healthy diet and exercise habits, may be beneficial for weight reduction without significantly increased risk of adverse events.” C N Boozer1, P A Daly, P Home, J L Solomon, D Blanchard, J A Nasser, R Strauss and T Meredith “Herbal ephedra/caffeine for weight loss: a 6-month randomized safety and efficacy trial” Int J Obes May 2002, Volume 26, Number 5, Pages 593-604.

[5] An herbal supplement containing Ma Huang-Guarana for weight loss: a randomized, double-blind trial. Boozer CN, Nasser JA, Heymsfield SB, Wang V, Chen G, Solomon JL. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord., 2001 Mar;25(3):316-24.