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The messages below constitute a digest of the earlier forum messages that were not categorized:

8-25-03: I feel that ephedra did not get a fair shake as a dietary supplement. I took ephedra for 1 year and lost about 15-20 lbs. Now that's doesn't sound to drastic or unhealthy. Does it? I used to take 2 tablets of [a product containing ephedra] in the morning and that was it. The recommended dosage was 2 tablets in the morning 1/2 hour before exercise and 2 mid day. I am having a hard time keeping these extra pounds off now that I can no longer purchase it. A mother of 2 toddlers needs all the help that she can get.

8-6-03: Has Ephedra been effectively banned from over-the-counter products?  In recent times in my home state of Washington, D.C. I have been unable to locate any antihistamines containing ephedra. Brands that used to contain it, such as Actifed or Advil Cold+Sinus, now contain Pseudoephedrine, and no product on my local drugstores' shelves seems to contain it any longer. I've looked in all of them. This really irritates me, as I find the drug useful for numerous purposes, risky or not. I have been taking the stuff since I was knee height and it's the only effective treatment for my sinuses. Okay, so the downsides are that ephedra is linked to the manufacture of illegal amphetamines and if you take it carelessly, you can wind up dead. Does the FDA really need to babysit a whole continent of people who can't read warning labels? I swear, this is a country that needs warnings on bottles of Drano, cups of hot coffee and packs of cigarettes! Can you see where I'm going with this? All it takes is for one obese "athlete" who probably guzzles Big Macs and chews tobacco along with the stereotypically excessive partying professional sports allow for to have a stroke from something as benign as cold medicine and every responsible user has to suffer. Can this be for real? Have they really banned Ephedra round these parts? Any info you can supply would be greatly appreciated. -Mike

7-23-03: I have been taking ephedra for about a year and 7 months already, and to tell you the truth its been great. All these things I hear about people taking this 'drug' and dying makes me feel bad for the families and all but the truth is that the pictures I saw of these people that died, looked out of shape and unhealthy. And it seems that when people take ephedra that are out of shape take it in mass quantities cause they wanna lose the weight faster. I hope ephedra does not get banned cause us people that use this 'drug' properly will have to look for a new way to lose weight. None of these deaths should be your fault, nor should they ban something that someone else abused.

7-22-03: Hello, my I am writing in from Texas. I just wanted to comment on the use of ephedra. I have used a product before containing ephedra and have never had a problem. Is there something that can be done to bring it back? If so I would love it!!! I miss having the energy that it gives me. Also, is there no where that the products containing ephedra are still being sold? I would like to know. Thanks for letting me comment.

7-21-03: ... I just wanted to say, that I've talked to quite a few people about the issue of ephedra and those who are using it, are freaking out because it's THE ONLY DIET THING THAT REALLY WORKS! If you take the ephedra out of formulas (because it does work best synergistically with other elements and herbs) what's left is a formula that doesn't work. Believe me, I've tried them all (except the prescription drugs, which I won't do). I think if the lousy government is allowed to interfere with this right, among all the others they are ripping from us, we will soon have NO ALTERNATIVE healthcare options, and I do mean, NONE. The powerful pharmaceutical demons are after every sent they can get and they don't want people HEALTHY! That cuts into their profits!! I knew this thing with ephedra was going to be the catalyst for other measures against us purchasing vitamins WITHOUT prescriptions! There is already a bill before Congress to do just that---            I've purchased some things directly from China (that they don't sell in this communist country) and that's probably how we'll have to get this product in the future. Here's to our unhealthy future.

7-18-03: yes it should be banned to save peoples life's!!!!! why try to make money on people? if it's bad for you it should be banned, the problem with this generation is they'll take anything to get high.....

6-27-03: I have used ephedra and I enjoyed it I haven't seen any side effects and I am very upset that IL has banned it.

6-26-03: i don't understand,that i you all know that this diet plan is bad for your health,why sell it? i understand people want o make money, but how about concerns for people health. i think it should be taken off of the market. i have a friend that takes [a product] that has ephedra in it, and he have been taken it for a while, and now he starting to get sick all the time a don't know why. i tell him it's because of the pills,but he don't think so.......YES i think they should be taken off the market.

6-22-03: I don't know if conducting the survey will help any in stopping the sale of products containing Ephedra.. But i an willing to give my opinion. I have been a user of the ephedra product in one of the dietary suppliments that i use. I have had no problems with the drug and feel that if it is used properly other users should not experience any problems either. I feel it is an choice whether or not to use the product and should be left as a choice. I do not agree with the choice to remove ephedra from becoming available to those who would like to use it.

6-18-03: ... I just wanted to voice my input on the issue of Ephedra being banned from the market. I believe it's wrong. I have been taking [an ephedra containing product] for over a year now, and it's done nothing but wonders. It keeps me energized, not overly hungry, and ready for anything. The problem is that people don't follow directions. Over-dosing and over- working yourself is the problem. If it's going to be a very strenuous workout, I'll make sure I've eaten, and drank my fluids. At times, I'll go a week with out taking the pills to give my body a brake from them, and go back on them when I feel I'm ready. Others do not educate themselves enough on simple things like taking a little pill, but if they did, and did the procedures correctly and safely, I'm sure many would change their minds about banning Ephedra. If anything, these pills are helpful, not harmful. So I thank you for reading my e-mail. I hope this was worthy of your time.

6-18-03: I am a user of [a product containing] ephedra. I used to always be tired and sleepy and groggy. Now I have energy and feel really good about my body and myself. This product really needs to stay on the market. I think it is so sad that because a person chose to misuse this product that their family now wants to tell the world that ephedra is not safe. The sad part is that it tells you directly on the bottle that if you have any of the following health problems-DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT. Perhaps he did not read the bottle or maybe he could not read. This man had a history of heat strokes dating back to his teenage years, and not to mention his other medical issues. On top of that his coach told him that he needed to loose some weight. He probably said it in a very negative tone(as most coaches do) and yelled at him and this man chose to put his career in front of his family. If he had read the bottle or had someone read it to him he would have known not to try this product.  Why is his family going on with the lawsuit anyway? Did they believe that his health related issues would not be discovered? It is a shame that people are so money hungry that they would try to put a company out of business that is really making a difference in personís life. Keep up the good work!!!! This has really made a difference in my life.

6-17-2003: In the past five years I have used [a product] knowing that ephedra was an ingredient. I personally have never had any problems with it. I know many others who use this product as well and they have no know reactions to it. It appears to me that there is a percentage of persons who are abusing products with ephedra. This is probably the main reason people have had problems. It is my opinion they are not taking it as recommended and probably not eating healthy, not exercising or sleeping the proper amount of hours. Some may not even be telling their physician "purposely". I would like to know how to get involved in keeping these products with ephedra on the shelves. It really doesn't make sense, they ban smoking everywhere, but continue to sell them. I can make this statement, I was a smoker for over 17 years, but as of July 7th it will be one year since I quit. Although I have quit, I don't go around pushing everyone to quit. So those who have problems with ephedra should just stop taking it. Also, where can I continue to buy these types of products in Dallas, Texas!

6-17-2003: I have used an ephedra product that was caffeine free. I notice that my level of energy sustained throughout the day from taking a mere 1 or 2 tablets mid morning. I have also tried ephedra products that contained caffeine and noticed that after a couple of hours or so that my energy level would drop and would would become fatigued. I did not want to get into the habit of taking more than the 1,2 or 3 at the most but found that the caffinated products far less superior. The liberal media has once again perpetrated fradulent information in order to slander and cause disruption. I find it funny that most of the stories of people dieing lack the details of possible misuse of the product by over use, in combination with other drugs, someone who is obese etc.etc. I wonder how many people die from overuse of caffeine, I'll bet there is more but you never hear of them.

6-16-2003: Ephedra should not be banned. If used in the correct doses and sensibly, it is a very helpful herbal drug. 

6-13-2003: I think that many of the people that have adverse side effects are taking it incorrectly and may have pre-existing medical conditions. I took it for about eight weeks and it helped me lose some weight. Many products are sold legally that have risks of adverse health effects. For example, tobacco is considered to be detrimental to health, but it is still sold legally with a warning from the Surgeon General.

6-12-03: My question about the use of ephedra is Has ephedra been linked to any type of memory loss? If there is please [send in a response to this forum] with the info as soon as you can.

6-11-2003: No! I do not think it should be banned! I think it should the decision of the adult if we want to take this medication. If the government wants to control our decisions AGAIN.....maybe it should be considered to be sold the way we sell other drugs over the counter that kill more people every year (alcohol and tabacco) than this small time diet pill, but yet we sell it over the counter to adults, because it is their decision to take these drugs, knowing the side effects. O' and alcohol kills more than the irresponsible person using the drug.......it kills entire families. Yet it is legal. ??????????? Explain that! O' yeah..... tax money for those government people. Can't they just leave us alone. Don't they have other things to do.......like GO PLAY Golf and spend our tax payers money? I think they have done enough decision making for the adults of this country who struggle everyday just to feed our children. Enough is enough. If they are so ready to help somebody, and play hero, why don't they make sure that our children are being fed and educated.....and stop worrying so much about how they can keep controlling our decisions and taking our money that we work for, to feed our children. They discussed me. Help somebody for a change. Stop worry about how you can scheme the Americans from their hard working money. We just wanna be able to control our own decisions and be able to take care of our families. Sorry Family - Government that doesn't even fit in the same sentence together. Unless of course they can profit from it. O' yeah that's right they are!!!!!!! So, my answer is NO! NO! NO! That is my decision not theirs. GO PLAY GOLF !!!!!!!! Or find another way to scheme, so that they can line their pockets & pockets (their golf buddies) the government.  Desperate just to feed my children and make my own decisions; MS

6-9-03: I have used this product in the past and feel that with anything you can get over the counter and misuse the product you can have health hazards. Itís unfortunate that our society is so sue happy that this is one of the main reasons for this product to be taken off the market. I think they should keep it on the market and do what they have been doing making the purchase only available to 18 and older. I tried to buy [an ephedra containing product] on line today and they are completely sold out of the product. This should say something that there is a demand for this on the market today and it works. So I think this should be considered when the FDA makes there decision.

6-7-03: I use this product and i dont think that it should not be banned i have lost 85 pounds with it

6-7-03: Diatary Suppliments containing ephedra is the only way I can curb my cravings and increase my metabolism. I don't think they should ban it because of a handfull of people who will not follow the instructions. Why should we suffer because these people misuse a product.

6-6-03: I have been taking [a product] with ephedra for about four years. Although the majority of my weight loss ( 25 lbs) occurred early on, I have continued to take the product to maintain my loss. I do not think it should be banned. I have not experienced any problems with it and feel there will always be some products that will cause problems for some people. However, based on the number of people using ephedra compared to the number with problems, it does not justify banning the product.

6-4-2003: I have used ephedra for 4 years without having a problem. I think if you are responsible enough to use this product correctly you should have no problem with it. Alot of people use ephedra for the wrong reasons or use too much because they like the affect of it. These people should not ruin it for the people who use ephedra for the right reasons at the right dosage.

6-4-2003: I [have not used ephedra] feel that ephedra should be banned. I am in the medical field, and I have done research on it as well and I see no good in taking this product.

6-3-2003: It works and should not be banned. Consumers should use at their own risk. Help bring it back

6-3-2003: Hello..My name is Traci and I am writing this regarding my Sister.She is an recovering addict from different kinds of drugs.She has been sober over 40+ days and she is in a Drug Court Program.I have found some [pills] (which contains Ephedra) and Im concern that this could lead her to relapsing.I don't feel an addict should take anything with Ephedra in it.She has been on these energy pills for several years and when she is on them; her face, chest, back and legs break out in blisters..She also has a heart condition as which you know these energy pills have a long warning label on the package and anyone with a heart condition should not take these pills.I want to know if anyone has experienced any breakout with their skin and if anyone is an addict should you take these pills with Ephedra in it.Thanks!

6-2-2003: Ephedra has other uses than weight loss. It also helps asthma sufferers breathe better. My MD recommended my taking ephedra in low dosess for asthma.

6-1-2003: No Ephedra should NOT be banned. Thanks to Ephedra [product] I became a new man, from waist size 52 to 38! I have been using the product for the last five years. Ephedra should not be the blame for the action of several individuals that did not obey the label. and like with every medication the label is the LAW (See a Doctor first, take as suggested and do not take more than the recommended amount) it is that simple.

6-1-2003: I was very much over weight, and then used an ephedra containing product. By using the product WISELY, and not being ignorant about the label, I lost 40 pounds. It angers me that the people who abuse the herb have totally screwed people who have/would have benefited from it. It's like aspirin. If used properly, it can do good. If used improperly, it can be very damaging. The people who have used ephedra improperly have simply given the government a reason to step in, yet again, and tell us what we can and cannot do. When did the government become our mothers? I do agree, however, that there are safety issues involved--when the products are used incorrectly. I feel that the warning labels on these products should be more adamant about the risks involved with using them improperly. The labels should be printed in larger lettering for one, maybe? The tiny lettering makes the warnings seem somehow less important. I understand that there have been people who were negatively affected by ephedra products, and I am truly sorry for them. But I know from personal experiences the positive affects of the herb. My life--my health--would not be the same without it. I simply know that I am not obese any more because of that ephedra containing product. Which is worse? Being sick because you are obese, and not being able to do anything about it, no matter what you try? Or taking a product that, if used wrong, could cause the so printed "adverse health affects"--an example of how those warning labels need to be a bit more thorough--but if used properly, can help you change your life--and health--for the better. I am strongly opposed to the banning of this herb. I am strongly in favor of a more adamant attempted to make known the safety risks involved in using the products containing ephedra.

5-30-2003: I am writing for my sister whose life has been forever changed by the use of ephedra. Two years ago she began using products containing ephedra to lose weight and give her more energy. She had been on the product for about one year when suddenly one day she took two pills with diet-coke and and about an hour later had shortness of breathe, pain in her chest, her heart was racing and she felt that she would pass out. She went to her small-town doctor and he just brushed it off as a short-term reaction. She has continued to have shortness of breathe, pain in her chest, heart palpitations, dizziness to the point that she will not drive for fear of passing out. As she says, she is "bitchy" and has a very short fuse. She used to be a very healthy person with an easy going attitude. She just wants to feel like her old self again. Her doctor looks at her like she's crazy. Her symptoms have only worsened with time. She is convinced that these problems were caused by using ephedra. She is curious if anyone has experienced these side-effects.

5-27-03: I love this product and it shouldn't be banned, it is the best shit!!!!!!!!!

5-27-03: No, I do not think that Ephedra should be banned. I do think that there should be some restrictions on the sell of the drug. Perhaps it should be sold on a prescription basis, which would monitor abuse of the substance and underage use. I do use products containing Ephedra in moderation and pay close attention to the recommended dosage.  This product has helped me maintain a healthy weight and has provided me with so much energy. I think it would be a shame for people, such as myself, to loose the opportunity to take this drug responsibly.

5-27-03: this is in response to Air Force Parent's post from 5-19. I went through the same thing for years, not being able to take a full deep breath. I didn't even remember but after you wrote that I realized I used to yawn to get a deep breath. It's anxiety. Apparently it was brought on by this drug and now remains. it's very elusive. The only thing that truly helped me with it was yoga and breathing exercises and conventional therapy. I have been doing yoga now religiously for two years.

5-27-03: I am a 37 year old, extremely athletic and active female who has been using ephedra daily for approximately 3 years, with no adverse effects. I believe it is important to use caution in one's dosage, and to use common sense with regard to other health related factors, such as extreme heat or humidity, in combination with the use of ephedra. As far as banning it, it is my belief that this will simply create a need for this supplement to go "underground", or "blackmarket", thus driving up the cost of it, and causing more problems than could possibly be created by simply IN LARGE PRINT informing people of potential health risk, etc. I believe to each one's own regarding decision affecting our bodies.

5-24-2003: I have tried the Ephedra free products and they are no different that taking a sugar pill. If Ephedra based products are taken responsibly, they work great. Tobacco should be banned before Ephedrine is even looked at. Thousands of people a year die from tobacco related illnesses. A few people have misused Ephedrine and have died and the lawyers start ambulance chasing and the product is pulled! CRAZY!

5-24-2003: I have tried so many products without ephedra and they do not work as well. This product taken responsibly is WONDERFUL! Just like anything else, once it is abused you get into trouble.

5-22-2003: [has not  used ephedra and wants it banned] - i had a bf who took ephedrine. of course i didn't trust his word for it when it came to pills, i had checked his use of no doz in the past also, but before i even had the chance to check whether ephedrine was at all safe, he dropped and had a siezure. i saw three hospitals in one day. i saw a man have a siezure. i had to deal with paramedics. i wholeheartedly believe it should be banned, unless the use is supervised for very special cases. my friend needs a form of ephedra for his health, however he is closely monitered, so he has not encountered problems. my ex boyfriend however, administered the drug himself.

5-21-2003: I have used ephedra products safely for over 6 years. I recently had a heart workup and the doctor said that he wished that his looked as good as mine. I don't believe that ephedra should be banned from the market. Aspirin can be fatal if abused, and it is sold everywhere. Consistent use of aspirin or ibuprophin can eat away the lining of the stomach, causing bleeding disorders that cause more deathes every year - but we don't hear about those being banned. I wonder how many deaths can actually, without a doubt, be blamed on epedra? I would bet that it would be no where as high a number as those caused by aspirin. Thanks for the poll!!

5-20-2003: It does a lot more good than harm. Compare to any prescribed drug or over the counter drug and you will find that the side effects are nothing in comparison.

5-19-2003: Message from AirForceParent:   I am having difficulty taking deep breaths. It's been happening for about 8 weeks now. Not knowing what it was I halted everything that I was taking: cod liver oil, kelp, ginko biloba, echinacea, st. john's wart and the newest addition to my regime, a product containing ephedra. Since I wasn't getting any better I finally went to see the doctor a coupple of weeks ago. It takes alot for me to go to the doctor. In the last twelve years I've only gone three times, two of which were to have babies and the other to have a cyst removed from my lower back, and I only went because it got infected. So you can see I have become quite alarmed about this because it's just not going away. The doctor said basically that I'm overwhelmed and gave me the names of some psychologists in my area. Well, my plate is quite full but surely no more than everyone else's. I had a few tests done and he noted that I have what is called an athlete's heart. I looked this up and found that usually "there is significant regression in all athletes" during "detraining. I used to be very athletic but when I was much younger. So I may have a heart problem. Or maybe not, it may also be due to a yeast infection or maybe due to the ephedra. All I know is that I want to take an ulabored lungfull of air and without thinking about it. At night I get a respite after I've been lying down for a while, and when I wake up in the morning. I relish filling my lungs to capacity and satiety. Then my day begins and I try to yawn to get a lung full of air. I wish I knew what it was. Whatever it is I hope it's temporary. Would like to know if anyone has experienced this and if it eventually goes away.

5-19-2003: Hi, I am Joanie from Louisiana and I have used Ephedra, I don't think it should be banned...it does make my heart race but it also for some reason, it makes me feel really good. I feel great after taken Ephedra...the ONLY drawback is that after it wears down, I feel REALLY sleepy...I don't know how many others it does that too, but it sure makes me tired afterwards...any ideas why???

5-17-2003: I don't think Ephedra should be banned, all people who take epedra know the health risks & should not come back later & try to sue the companies for selling it . They know up front that it is bad, & have the choice to take it or not. Just like Alcohol is bad & I don't see the Government Banning it, yet millions of drinkers are killing others by driving under the influence, or are in rehab, they aren't suing [beer companies] for their alcoholism.

5-11-2003: I dont think it should be banned.this is a america, is it not. when you start taking peoples rights away to make a decision that only affects them, this is no longer a free country.It should be up to the indidual to make a decision, that only affects them,it affects no one else directly.Of course if you are not healthy in the first place you should have enough common sense to know not to use it. if you do,then thats your own stupidity.almost anything we do can affect us in a negative way if you choose to do it excess.but that is the persons free choice.

5-10-2003: I think ephedra should stay legal. The risks are put on the containers in which ephedra is sold, so people are warned about what it can do. Another thing is, that you have to be 18 to buy it, as in cigarettes. If you can give yourself lung cancer, what's wrong with a few little strokes. I think it is your own choice to take the risks, and it helps some people lose weight they may never have lost without the help of ephedra. If they do band epheda it will just become another street drug. It will be smuggled in just like Methamphetamine. It's there choice. Do they want people to do it legally, or illegally. The side-effect are no worse than alcohol, cigarettes, or half of the prescriptions that are legal.

5-8-2003: Hi. I just really wanted to give my opinion. Ephedra is great if used PROPERLY. On every product they specifically tell users they should be in good condition with no weaknesses and they specifically list them. They tell you exactly how much you should take and when to stop. If used right, ephedra has amazing effects on the diet system, and is probably the best appetite suppressant out there. I wish people would be more clear with this. I must have used products containing ephedra 3 times... And i've been the healthiest I've ever been. (Not to mention lost 15 - 20 pounds during the time)

5-4-2003: How amusing....people died of ephedrine so it should be banned??? How many?? More than cigarettes and alcohol??? When the government bans alcohol and tobacco, let them set their sites on ephedrine.

5-3-2003: I have been taking [an ephedra containing product] for well over a year and have experienced nothing more than successful weight loss. I have been very frustrated in the bad name it has been given because of certain people who are taking as not perscribed/instructed and have the certain health conditions known or unknown that is clearly stated on the warning labile. Quite frankly I am pissed off that I can longer purchase this product because of all the hype in the media. It is known that taking any kind of pill prescribed or not becomes the sole liability of the person consuming the product and not the fault of the companies producing the product. Bottom line is that if cigarettes can be sold openly on the market along with many other products that can lead to death than so should [the product] as well as any other Ephedra based product being marketed. I could go on and on about this as anyone else could I am sure, just please know that I am highly frustrated that to me this seems to be just another way for someone to dictate to us what it is or isn't we can do. As adults it should not be dictated to us on how we choose to diet. Thank you for your time and I am sorry that I now have find a replacement product that regardless to the misleading promises of results will never provide me with what [the product] has. I have started taking [another product] and so far has not satisfied me the same.

5-2-2003: Yes...I have used it for many years in the past like 8 or more years and ended up with acid refux, hiatial hernia, diverticulitis, gastritis, polyps, and other problems... Yes it was great for losing weight but in the long run cost me a fortune medically! 

5-2-2003: I think that it should be your own choice if you choose to use ephedra. Most of the time the people who it does hurt, it is because they have abused it.  So no, it should not be banned.

5-1-2003: Common sense remains the issue as with alcohol and other drugs.

4-30-2003: I HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AS WELL AS MY DOCTOR HAS CLEARED ME TO DO SO. I AM A ASTHMA PATIENT AND WANT IT TO REMAIN ON THE SHELF!!!!! I AM OFF 12 PERSCRIPTIONS BECAUSE I TAKE AN EFFEDRA PRODUCT!!!!!!!!

4-22-2003: I've been using ephedra safely for 8 yrs and I want to stress safely. The company I buy it from is pre packaged and does not exceed 35 mg per serving. But like anything it can be abused so Iam all for strick guidelines. 

4-20-2003: This note is from a mother who just lost her son to this CRAP ! My son was the Pitcher at spring training in Florida. On his death certicate,this was the cause of death. He was in perfect HEALTH. He had to take a full physical every year before the games started in April usually. At 18 when he was drafted out of high school,all the health issues he had was on a inhaler for hayfever ,in the beginning of spring time. So not know how long he was taking these things,as exactly as the bottle says. He was taking 3 a day. He was over 200 lbs. and they were saying he was over weight at 249. He usually came to camp at 239,so they were saying he was 10lbs over weight. I would like to get this crap off the market so another family does not have to lose a love one as we have. He was my baby. He was my 2nd son. He was a great kid. Now he is gone. His family is emotional wreck. We are all in a fog. Please any of you do not have to take this. Just think of what you do to your family ,if you got the bottle that has more crap in each capsule.In each bottle 1 capsule may have 30mg. inside of it,yet another in the same bottle will have 300mg. inside. U are taking a risk. Just a note from a bereaved mom,who misses her son,and nothing will ever be the same. 

4-20-2003: i have a disease called alpha1 anti trypsin deficiency. or in other words emphysema. i take an [ephedra containing] product that has 12mg of ephedra. i take 1 pill a day and that takes me off of 9 prescription breathing pills a day. i think there are people who abuse this drug as they could any other but for me i have lost weight which i couldnt do with emphysema. and breath better than when i am on 9 pills a day. ephedra is a chinese herb for asthma and my body likes it.


Message 7:  From: ResearchStudent   Sent: April 14, 2003

Hi, Im trying to conduct a poll for a class of mine. As we all know, Ephedra has the potential to be banned from use due to some of the negative health effects it may have. I would like to know how many of you out there believe it should be banned alltogether? And please indicate if you currently or ever have used products that contain Ephedra. Thanks for your help!

[ Forum moderator's comments:  This is such an excellent question, we've created a polling page specifically to get your feedback for ResearchStudent.]


Message 6:  From: AirForceParent    Sent: March 26, 2003

My son is in the US Air Force, and they sell the products containing Ephedra on base. He was taking the product for several months. He quit taking it about 3 weeks ago, and now is having severe breathing problems. Shortness of breath, to the point of almost blacking out. Irregular breathing. I am wondering if anyone else has had a similar problem after ceasing taking this herb. I think it makes sence because it dialates the bronchial tubes and is used for breathing disorders, that it might cause the reverse after quiting. I am desperate to know if anyone else has experienced this.


Message 5:  From: girlygirl    Sent: February 23, 2003

I agree that many (not all) of the people that have experienced strokes and other complications due to ephedra use probably did not consult a physician or exceeded the recommended allowance for a twenty-four hour period. I have also used ephedra products for years without any serious complications. Anyone that uses ephedra should be well educated on the potential dangers associated with the supplement. I take only one or two pills a day on an empty stomach BEFORE eating. I never take a pill as a substitute for a meal. I also try to keep at least 4-6 hours between pills. I do not take a pill after 3:00 so that the ephedra will have begun to wear off by bedtime. Also, I do not consume caffeine with ephedra products. Caffeine will heighten the effects of ephedra, causing noticible heart palpations, sweating, nausea, etc.I never take ephedra products before exercising or spending lengths of time in the sun. Responsible use is all that is required. I don't think this product should be banned because of misuse. Alcohol is misused and abused and has caused many many deaths. Even Tylenol has been a factor in suicide deaths or misuse, yet it remains legal. If those who wish to use ephedra products would just pay attention to the warnings on the packaging and consult their physicians, then there would probably be fewer instances of mortality.


Message 4:  From: RaceHorseRider    Sent: January 23, 2003

I have been taking [an ephedra containing product] for the past 8 years,and before that I have been taking other ephedra products daily. I was taking [the product] to loose weight and give me energy. Little did I know that it would ruin my life. I usually took one or two pills daily and now at the age of 31 I have uffored a heart attack. I never had heart problems before and I was a perfect healthly woman. The warning on the back dosen't say "In a perfectly healthy woman it may cause a heart attack." Like most woman I didn't think the warning applied to me. I had my heart attack in sept. of 2002 and I haven't taken a [the product] pill since. But the symptoms still don't go away. I still get chest pain and heart palpitations. The doctors couldn't believe their eyes when I went into the emergency room that Sat. morning. I was a thin 31 year old fit woman. I Ride race horses and train race horses for a living so I am a very active person. For the past 4 years I have coached my sons baseball team and soccer team. So you can see I am an athlete. After my heart attack I have gone to a cardeologist and had a stress test done and had the dies injected into my heart. They found no blockasges and I do not have high cholestrol or high blood pressure. The doctors blame the heart attack on me taking ephedra, and told me NEVER to take another pill again or it could be deadly. Now here I am a single mother with a heart problem from ephreda and I have no idea what long term effects I will endure from taking [the product]. I also have the HUGE medical bills that will take me along time to pay off. I am pleading to any woman out there who are thinking of taking this product not to use ephreda, You have no idea what I am going through or will go through in the future. I thought I was perfectly safe taking this product becaue I was a very healthy woman, Please rethink your decission in taking this product.


Message 3:  From: 8YearUser    Sent: October 9, 2002

Two nights ago I saw a news report on CNN that said there is a group trying to get a law passed that would make selling ANY product containing ephedrine illegal, but the information I read on the Internet seemed to suggest that this law will only limit the amounts of ephedrine that can be placed in one pill, so I am a little confused now. The news reports made it seem as though if this law is passed [ephedra containing] products will just be banned completely from production, what is really going to happen if this law is passed, do you know? I am concerned about this law because I have been using [an ephedra containing product] for over 8 years now and I love it, I have never had any medical problems from using it at all, but I have never abused the product either. I would be willing to bet that nearly every single one of these people who either died or had medical problems from the use of these chemicals were probably abusing the product and took way to much of it at once. One could also claim that Aspirin can kill if taken in large amounts beyond the recommended adult dose but should that mean that some group should try to get Aspirin turned into an illegal drug too? For that matter what about alcohol and cigarette's? Should the irresponsibility and carelessness of other people be allowed to ruin all other consumers ability to choose the products they wish to use for them selves? I am an adult and I am fully aware of the hazards involved with ephedrine I don't need the FDA to start telling me what pills I can bye. What's next? Will they start telling me what foods I can eat when the decide to outlaw any foods containing fat? I mean this is ridiculous. I don't understand why they are so willing to just rip all products containing ephedrine completely off the shelves when in reality it does less harm then many other easy to obtain drugs out there on the market today? Are the producers of ephedrine going to have the chance to defend their product in these law debates? How soon will a final rueling be made about this possible law? If you have any information you can give me please e-mail me and let me know, and if you know of any web sites were I can vote on this issue or voice my opinion on a bulletin board please let me know the address, thank you for your time.


Message 2:  From: 10YearUser    Sent: Saturday, August 17, 2002 7:11 AM     

Subject: ephedra vs fda

Just want you all to know i have taken this product for over 10 yrs and couldnt imagine going on without it. These other people who have health issues are either people who didnt consult with there Licsenced practitioner before using. used improperly, or looking for a chunk of that money in lawsuites ruining the rights for others in this God for saken free so called country we live in. Tell me this " we have thousands dying a day from lung cancer and other related cigerrette use issue", why isnt FDA banneding the right for smokers to use knowing they kill off the non user as well ? can anyone out there answer that ? Who is the FDA or even the government to tell or decide what and when , where what we take.. This is a free country i thought ! I just get sick and tired of every time a good thing comes around the FDA has to banned it, but yet no one has stopped RJ Reynolds, could this be a controlling issue with government ? RJ pays more taxes to the gov., ? The Gov. doesnt want some of us living longer then we already are ? hmmmmmm, I like to here some of your insite and others on this, maybe its time we all pull together and fight this thing!


Response # 1 from MentallyAddicted:

You obviously donít realize how fortunate you are to live in a country like we do. The government does not control where, when and how we do things such as take ephedra. If you take more than what the FDA recommends, you arenít arrested for not following their recommendations. The government is there to protect us and the FDA protects us from harmful substances. If the FDA bans ephedra, there is obviously viable data that it has harmful effects on our health.

I have been taking an ephedra product for about a year now. I am not exactly proud of this, but I feel I am mentally addicted to ephedra. I hope to one day not feel dependent on this herb/drug. The long-term affects of ephedra I donít believe have been uncovered yet. I believe that ephedra may cause effects anywhere from skin disorders to nervous system diseases such as Parkinsonís. A co-worker of mine has been taking ephedra for a few years, and she is starting to have skin problems. Ephedra causes irregular perspiration, which in turn may cause skin disorders. I also notice I shake a lot when I feel the ephedra kick in. I also think there will be a rise in diabetes in people who use or have used ephedra products. I donít have anything to base this off of, so please respond if you have had similar effects.


Response # 2 from Thinker:

Too much of anything is a bad thing. The unfotrunate trait must of us Americans have is abuse. We abuse and overuse practically everything. I don't think Ephedra is a horrible product. As long as you are aware of what it does, the problems you might have if you take it, and you are taking it for the right reasons, you will be fine. If you overuse it as a speed or take it for too long because you thing you can eat whatever you want and still lose wait, your going to have problems. Think.


Response # 3 from 18YearUser:

I agree with this person! I have taken ephedra for 18 years! It has really helped me. It is all in the responsible hands of the user! I can remember when you could buy the pure ephedra and now you cannot due to the fact you have these people out there that are not using this product in the proper way. There are a lot of HARMFUL "drugs and alcohol" that the FDA could pick on besides this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Message 1:  From: NoLongerTheSame     Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 11:21 PM

I TOOK [an ephedra containing product] FOR ABOUT FIVE AND A HALF MONTHS. I STOPPED USING IT BECAUSE I HAD A HARD TIME BREATHING AND MY HEART RATE WAS POUNDING. I WAS RUSHED TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. EVER SINCE THEN I HAVEN'T BEEN THE SAME. I DO GET HEART PALPITATIONS EVERY NOW AND THEN. AND I AM JUST CONCERNED OF LONG TERM HEALTH EFFECTS, IF I DON'T HAVE THEM YET. I JUST WANT HEALTH INFORMATION ON EPHEDRA. I KNOW [the product] CONTAINS IT, AND I AM WORRIED OF SIDE  EFFECTS.


Response #1 from Sufferer

I am sooo glad to hear of another Ephedra fiasco, out there.. Isn't that awful to say?...  I'm sorry to say that, as I know that you have sufferered right along with me.. I don't know how many times the "racing hearbeat" took us to the emergency room! Ugh.. The dr's never found a "reason" for my heart palpitations, but they contiuned on for years after taking [a product containing ephedra]..   I'm thinking of suing the company, but it's been sooo many years now..  What are your thoughts on that?  And I sure hope and pray that you are finished with the Ephedra affects, now...  They seem to linger on for several years.. Ugh, it's made my life a mess in the years  past.. (long story, for another time)....


Message 0:  From: Seizure     Sent: Friday, December 29, 2001

I pulled up your site to see what information I could find about side effects.

I am embarrassed to say, I have been taking ephedra in some form for almost two to three years now even after hearing about some of the more public horrors.

It began with a dietary supplement by [a tea] that contained Ephadra. I drank this tea two times a day 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner. It was amazing, but I used this exactly as prescribed and over 6 months I lost 22 pounds, slimmed up and toned my body and also lost a few inches in my waist, shoulders, etc. I did at the same time, significantly change my diet and exclude all of those things that were very fatty, very high caloric and very high in carbos.

At that time the only side effect was occassional nervousness and diffilculties with sleeping. Eventually that subsided over time.

About six months ago I discovered a pill [containing ephedra]. Didnt have to drink the tea and cause my teeth to yellow any longer. Could simply take two pills a day 30 minutes after a meal. The first time I took one of these, I was taking a hot shower and felt like I was having a seizure. I couldnt breath, my heart was racing and my arms got numb. I took that as a combination of over heating from the shower, taking the pill and just finishing a grueling workout. Never had that experience again.

I continued taking this pill and still do. They help maintain my weight and physical stamina for workouts. Also help me maintain my toned body.

Problem is that other side effects have started to become apparent. My sleep habits never really got better, I just got used to them. I noticed my temper getting shorter and that I was a little more on edge than ever before. I also noticed that at certain within an hour of taking the pill, I would feel a little depressed. My workouts are still strong and the ephedra seems to help with stamina, however the stamina is only for short periods.

I am now searching for a better way to maintain my health/body, which naturally increases my metabolism, so I can rid myself of the ephedra. Something doesnt feel right and I dont want to find out too late.

Thanks for the information. If I could make a suggestion about your site. At the top you list the topics. I would be great to list Side Effects as a topic so people that are questioning whether to use this or not, will see first hand what they might expect. If it doesnt concern them at first, maybe it will later when they notice a change in themselves, such as I did.


Reply from ephedra.com

Why do you continue to take [the ephedra containing product]?


Reply from Seizure

Completely agree regarding the seizure. While it wasnt entirely a seizure it was certainly close and something I had left out is that I had forgotten that I took a double dose that time. Was in such a hurry that I couldnt recall if I had taken it or not and took two.

Later recalled that was the reason and never let it happen again.



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Due to liability concerns, we can not provide any health or legal information regarding ephedra.  Also, we no longer have time to respond to individual emails. If you want to share your thoughts about ephedra or have ideas on how to get it legalized in the USA once again, please visit the ephedra forum on yahoolink to the ephedra forum on yahoo.

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