Generic Medicine Info
Indications and Dosage
Reversal of spinal or epidural anaesthesia-induced hypotension
Adult: As ephedrine hydrochloride: 3-6 mg (max: 9 mg) via slow IV inj every 3-4 minutes. Max: 30 mg. As ephedrine sulfate: 5-10 mg via IV bolus inj as needed. Max: 50 mg.
Child: >12 years As ephedrine hydrochloride: Same as adult dose.

Nasal congestion
Adult: As 0.5% or 1% drops: Instil 1-2 drops into each nostril as needed up to 4 times daily. Max: 7 days. As 0.5% spray: 2-3 sprays into each nostril up to 4 hourly. Max: 3 days.
Child: >12 years As 0.5% or 1% drops: Same as adult dose. 6-<12 years As 0.5% spray: 1-2 sprays up to 4 hourly. Max: 3 days. ≥12 years Same as adult dose.

Adult: 15-60 mg tid.
Child: 1-5 years 15 mg tid. 6-12 years 30 mg tid.
Elderly: Initial: 50% of adult dose.
May be taken with or without food.
Dilute 50 mg/mL vial with 9 mL dextrose 5% solution or 0.9% NaCl to make 5 mg/mL.
CV disease, cardiomyopathy, peripheral vascular resistance, arrhythmias, hyperthyroidism, hyperexcitability, phaeochromocytoma, closed-angle glaucoma, urinary retention, following nasal or sinus surgery (nasal). Ischaemic heart disease, prostatic hyperplasia (oral). Hypertension (nasal/oral). Concomitant use with other sympathomimetics and α-sympathomimetic agents (IV/nasal). β-blockers (nasal). Children <12 years old (nasal).
Special Precautions
Patient with diabetes mellitus. Ischaemic heart disease, arrhythmia, tachycardia, hypertension, angina pectoris (IV). Asthma (oral/nasal). Hyperthyroidism, closed-angle glaucoma (IV/oral). Prostatic hyperplasia (IV/nasal). Renal impairment. Children and elderly. Pregnancy and lactation.
Adverse Reactions
Significant: Rebound nasal congestion, mucosal ulceration, epistaxis, discomfort including dryness, stinging, burning (nasal). Hypertension (IV).
Cardiac disorders: Palpitations, cardiac arrhythmias, tachycardia (IV/oral).
Eye disorders: Mydriasis (nasal); closed-angle glaucoma (IV).
Gastrointestinal disorders: Nausea, vomiting; dry mouth (nasal/oral); thirst (nasal); hypersalivation (IV/nasal).
Metabolism and nutrition disorders: Hyperglycaemia (nasal); hypokalaemia, anorexia (IV/nasal).
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: Muscle weakness (nasal).
Nervous system disorders: Headache, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, tremors, tolerance.
Psychiatric disorders: Anxiety, hallucination.
Renal and urinary disorders: Urinary retention.
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: Dyspnoea.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Diaphoresis.
Vascular disorders: Hypertension; impaired circulation to the extremities (nasal/oral); vasodilation, flushing (nasal).
IM/IV/Parenteral/SC: C
Monitoring Parameters
Monitor blood pressure and pulse. Monitor patients with renal impairment for adverse reactions.
Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, hypertension, restlessness, ventricular and supraventricular arrhythmias, respiratory depression, convulsion, paranoid psychosis, delusions and hallucinations. Management: Supportive and symptomatic treatment. May administer benzodiazepine or neuroleptic agent for CNS stimulant effects. For severe hypertension, may give parenteral antihypertensives such as nitrates, Ca channel blockers, Na nitroprusside, labetalol or phentolamine. Perform emesis or gastric lavage for severe oral ephedrine overdosage.
Drug Interactions
May increase risk of arrhythmias with halogenated anaesthetics (e.g. halothane, cyclopropane), cardiac glycosides, quinidine, and TCAs. May block the antihypertensive effect of adrenergic neurone blockers (e.g. guanethidine). Increased risk of vasoconstrictor or pressor effects with ergot alkaloids and oxytocin. May increase the incidence of nausea, insomnia and nervousness with theophylline. May increase clearance of dexamethasone. May potentiate stimulant effect of caffeine.
Potentially Fatal: May enhance the adverse or toxic effect of other indirect sympathomimetics (e.g. phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine, methylphenidate) and α-sympathomimetic agents. Enhanced hypertensive effect with MAOIs.
Lab Interference
May cause false-positive amphetamine enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique (EMIT) assay.
Description: Ephedrine is a sympathomimetic that has α- and β- adrenergic activity. It stimulates both adrenergic receptors through direct and indirect mechanisms. It raises the blood pressure by increasing cardiac output, releases the stores of norepinephrine, and causes vasoconstriction of the mucosal blood vessels, thereby resulting in decreased thickness of the nasal mucosa.
Onset: Bronchodilation: Within 15-60 minutes (oral).
Duration: Bronchodilation: 2-4 hours; Pressor and cardiac responses: 1 hour (IV); 4 hours (oral).
Absorption: Readily and completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Bioavailability: Approx 90%.
Distribution: Distributed throughout the body and accumulates in the liver, lungs, kidneys, spleen, and brain. Crosses the placenta; enters breast milk.
Metabolism: Minimally metabolised in the liver, producing small amounts of metabolites, p-hydroxyephedrine, p-hydroxynorephedrine, norephedrine.
Excretion: Mainly via urine (approx 77% as unchanged drug and small amount of metabolites). Elimination half-life: Urine pH 5: Approx 3 hours, pH 6.3: Approx 6 hours.
Chemical Structure

Chemical Structure Image

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Database. Ephedrine, CID=9294, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Ephedrine (accessed on Jan. 22, 2020)

Store below 25°C. Protect from light.
MIMS Class
Nasal Decongestants & Other Nasal Preparations / Respiratory Stimulants / Vasoconstrictors
ATC Classification
R03CA02 - ephedrine ; Belongs to the class of adrenergics for systemic use, alpha- and beta-adrenoreceptor agonists. Used in the treatment of obstructive airway diseases.
C01CA26 - ephedrine ; Belongs to the class of adrenergic and dopaminergic cardiac stimulants excluding glycosides. Used in the treatment of hypotension.
Anon. Ephedrine (Nasal). Lexicomp Online. Hudson, Ohio. Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. https://online.lexi.com. Accessed 03/06/2021.

Anon. Ephedrine (Systemic). Lexicomp Online. Hudson, Ohio. Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. https://online.lexi.com. Accessed 03/06/2021.

Anon. Ephedrine. AHFS Clinical Drug Information [online]. Bethesda, MD. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. https://www.ahfscdi.com. Accessed 03/06/2021.

Bronkaid Max (Foundation Consumer Healthcare LLC). DailyMed. Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed. Accessed 03/06/2021.

Buckingham R (ed). Ephedrine. Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference [online]. London. Pharmaceutical Press. https://www.medicinescomplete.com. Accessed 03/06/2021.

Ephedrine Hydrochloride 3 mg/mL Solution for Injection (Aurum Pharmaceuticals Ltd). MHRA. https://products.mhra.gov.uk. Accessed 03/06/2021.

Ephedrine Hydrochloride Tablets BP 60 mg (Kensington Pharma Ltd.). MHRA. https://products.mhra.gov.uk. Accessed 03/06/2021.

Ephedrine Nasal Drops 1% (Thornton & Ross Ltd). MHRA. https://products.mhra.gov.uk. Accessed 03/06/2021.

Ephedrine Sulfate (Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC). DailyMed. Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed. Accessed 03/06/2021.

Joint Formulary Committee. Ephedrine Hydrochloride. British National Formulary [online]. London. BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press. https://www.medicinescomplete.com. Accessed 21/06/2021.

Rinosan Propo Nasal Decongestant Spray (Bee Right LLC). DailyMed. Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed. Accessed 03/06/2021.

Disclaimer: This information is independently developed by MIMS based on Ephedrine from various references and is provided for your reference only. Therapeutic uses, prescribing information and product availability may vary between countries. Please refer to MIMS Product Monographs for specific and locally approved prescribing information. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, MIMS shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2022 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com
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