Efficacy and safety of ephedra and ephedrine for weight loss and athletic performance: a meta-analysis.

  title={Efficacy and safety of ephedra and ephedrine for weight loss and athletic performance: a meta-analysis.},
  author={Paul Shekelle and Mary L Hardy and Sally C. Morton and Margaret A Maglione and Walter A. Mojica and Marika J. Suttorp and Shannon Rhodes and Lara Jungvig and James Gagn{\'e}},
  volume={289 12},
CONTEXT Ephedra and ephedrine sometimes are used for weight loss or enhanced athletic performance, but the efficacy and safety of these compounds are uncertain. [] Key MethodDATA SOURCES We searched 9 databases using the terms ephedra, ephedrine, adverse effect, side effect, efficacy, effective, and toxic. We included unpublished trials and non-English-language documents. Adverse events reported to the US Food and Drug Administration MedWatch program were assessed.

Figures and Tables from this paper

Effects of Ephedrine-Containing Products on Weight Loss and Lipid Profiles: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Compared with placebo, the ephedrine-containing products showed better effects on weight loss and lipid profiles, whereas they caused increased heart rate.

Ephedra and ephedrine for weight loss and athletic performance enhancement: clinical efficacy and side effects.

It is concluded that ephedra and ephedrine provide modest, short-term improvements in weight loss, but that they are associated with increased rates of side-effects.

Modelling the cardiovascular effects of ephedrine.

This is the first study to apply a comprehensive pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model to the cardiovascular effects of orally administered ephedrine, and although systolic blood pressure increases quickly after administration, the increase is nearly abolished by compensatory mechanisms.

Risks of Ephedra and Ephedrine

In response to a request for a synthesis of available evidence from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, these investigators reviewed 52 controlled trials of ephedra and ephedrine and found no significant differences in the results of these trials.

Psychiatric effects of ephedra use: an analysis of Food and Drug Administration reports of adverse events.

Clinicians should be aware that serious psychiatric symptoms could be associated with ephedra use and be aware of potential risks and benefits to patients with preexisting psychiatric conditions and /or use of other medications or illicit substances.

Psychiatric symptoms associated with ephedra use

The case reports evaluated do not prove a definitive causal link between ephedra and psychiatric complications, however, they do raise concern that such a relationship may exist.

Ephedra use in a select group of adolescent athletes.

It is suggested that Ephedra use was infrequent among the young athletes in this population, however, ephedra users were generally unaware that the dietary supplements they consumed contained ephedr.



Ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin: safety and efficacy for treatment of human obesity.

ECA in these doses is thus well tolerated in otherwise healthy obese subjects, and supports modest, sustained weight loss even without prescribed caloric restriction, and may be more effective in conjunction with restriction of energy intake.

A controlled trial using ephedrine in the treatment of obesity.

The results do not seem to favour the hypothesis that ephedrine, a thermogenic agent, may be effective in the therapy of unselected simple obesity, but it cannot be excluded that the drug may be useful in obese patients in whom defective thermogenesis may be clearly demonstrated.

Safety and efficacy of treatment with an ephedrine/caffeine mixture. The first double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study in adolescents

According to the present pilot study, CE can be a safe and effective compound for the treatment of obesity in adolescents and its frequency and severity were not different between the placebo and active groups.

Ephedrine as an anorectic: the story of the 'Elsinore pill'.

There was a significantly better effect on body weight of diethylpropion compared to placebo treatment, and Tremor was significantly more frequent in the 'Elsinore pill' group, but no serious side effects were observed.

The effects of ephedrine on the physiological and psychological responses to submaximal and maximal exercise in man.

Efforts to determine whether a single full therapeutic dose of ephedrine taken orally has any effect upon physical performance and fitness in healthy young men found it had no effect on lung function, but may have assisted the learning of certain simple psychomotor tasks.

Herbal ephedra/caffeine for weight loss: a 6-month randomized safety and efficacy trial

In this 6-month placebo-controlled trial, herbal ephedra/caffeine promoted body weight and body fat reduction and improved blood lipids without significant adverse events.

Adverse cardiovascular and central nervous system events associated with dietary supplements containing ephedra alkaloids

An independent review of reports of adverse events related to the use of supplements that contained ephedra alkaloids was conducted to assess causation and to estimate the level of risk the Use of these supplements poses to consumers.

Comparison of an ephedrine/caffeine combination and dexfenfluramine in the treatment of obesity. A double-blind multi-centre trial in general practice.

The efficacy and safety of dexfenfluramine and ephedrine/caffeine in obese patients with 20-80% overweight were compared in a 15-week double-blind study in general practice, and side-effects declined markedly during the first month of treatment.