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Ephedrine review by RAND: Adverse Effects, Serious
Tuesday, September 23, 2003 8:10 pm Email this article
"The majority of case reports are insufficiently documented to make an informed judgment about a relationship between the use of ephedrine- or ephedra-containing dietary supplements and the adverse event in question," according to a review of ephedrine studies by the RAND Corporation.
They reviewed a total of 17,842 reports of adverse effect and found 23 serious adverse effect believed to be associated with ephedra, and 11 believed to be associated with ephedrine.
They identified an additional 43 cases possibly associated with ephedra and 7 cases associated with ephedrine.
There were 2 deaths, 3 heart attacks, 3 strokes, 3 seizures and 5 psychiatric cases associated with ephedra.
There were 3 deaths, 2 heart attacks, 2 strokes, 1 seizures and 3 psychiatric cases associated with ephedrine.
About half of these serious adverse effects occurred in people under 30-years-old.
Shekelle P, Hardy M, Morton S, Maglione M, Mojica W, Suttorp M, Rhodes S, Jungvig L, Gagne J. Efficacy and safety of ephedra and ephedrine for weight loss and athletic performance: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 2003 Mar 26, 289(12):1537-45.
Paul G. Shekelle
Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center-RAND
Santa Monica, Calif 90407-2138
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