Ephedrine (Various; also combined with various drug entities)


  • Nervous system


  • Bronchodilator, vasopressor, decongestant


  • Bronchial asthma

  • Nasal congestion

  • Vasopressor in shock


  • Narrow-angle glaucoma


  • Pregnancy category C

  • Heart disease, coronary insufficiency, dysrhythmias, angina, hyperthyroidism

  • Diabetes mellitus, prostatic hypertrophy, increased intracranial pressure, hypovolemia

Adverse Reactions (Side Effects):

  • CNS: anxiety, confusion, dizziness, hallucinations, headache, insomnia, seizures, tremors

  • CV: chest pain, dysrhythmias, hypertension, palpitations, tachycardia

  • EENT: burning, dryness, irritation, rebound congestion with prolonged use

  • GI: anorexia, nausea, vomiting

  • GU: dysuria, urinary retention

  • METAB: hyperglycemia

  • RESP: respiratory difficulty

  • SKIN: contact dermatitis, pallor


Administered orally, intramuscularly, intravenously, subcutaneously, topically

  • Adult:   

    • IM/SC 25-50mg, not to exceed 150mg per 24 hours

    • IV 10-25mg, not to exceed 150mg per 24 hours

    • PO 25-50mg 2-3 times daily

    • TOP (Nasal congestion): instill 3-4 drops every 4 hours or small amount of gel in each nostril every 4 hours

  • Child:            

    • PO/SC/IV 3 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 4-6 hours

  • TOP (Nasal congestion): instill 3-4 drops every 4 hours or small amount of gel in each nostril every 4 hours




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Approved for public release; Distribution is unlimited.

The information contained here is an abbreviated summary. For more detailed and complete information, consult the manufacturer's product information sheets or standard textbooks.

Source: Operational Medicine 2001, Health Care in Military Settings, NAVMED P-5139, May 1, 2001, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, 2300 E Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20372-5300.

Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Department of the Navy
2300 E Street NW
Washington, D.C

Operational Medicine
 Health Care in Military Settings
CAPT Michael John Hughey, MC, USNR
  January 1, 2001

United States Special Operations Command
7701 Tampa Point Blvd.
MacDill AFB, Florida

*This web version is provided by The Brookside Associates, LLC.  It contains original contents from the official US Navy NAVMED P-5139, but has been reformatted for web access and includes advertising and links that were not present in the original version. The medical information presented was reviewed and felt to be accurate in 2001. Medical knowledge and practice methods may have changed since that time. Some links may no longer be active. This web version has not been approved by the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense. The presence of any advertising on these pages does not constitute an endorsement of that product or service by either the US Department of Defense or the Brookside Associates. The Brookside Associates is a private organization, not affiliated with the United States Department of Defense.

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