Ephedra Causes Strokes
"Ephedra is an amphetamine-like alkaloid that was incorporated into many
weight loss, fat-burner, and energy boozing products. Weight loss products such
as Stacker 3 and Ripped Fuel Extreme were sold with false claims and product
hype such as the "ECA stack" that referred to the combination of
ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin. Between January 1993 and October 2000, the FDA
received 1,398 reports of adverse health events and 81 deaths attributed to
ephedra supplements. Ephedra-related products accounted for less than 1% of all
dietary supplement sales but lead to 64% of adverse event reactions
reported to poison control centers. Ephedra effects included hypertension,
seizures, cerebrovascular accidents, cardiac arrhythmias, myocardial
infarctions, psychosis, and cognitive impairments. In December 2003, the FDA
issued a consumer alert warning and later prohibited ephedra sales in February
2004" From Reuter's Health
Moawad et al reported a case study of a 29-year-old who had a seizure
while playing basketball. He had never experienced a seizure activity before. He
on a “weight loss program” using the ephedra-containing supplements, Stacker 3
and Ripped Fuel Extreme.
On admission to hospital he had high blood pressure, evidence of a heart
attack and confusion. His symptoms subsided with blood pressure control, but one
week later, he developed complete visual loss. His blood pressure was markedly
elevated. The visual areas of his brain were abnormal on scan. The diagnosis was
posterior reversible encephalopathy, a syndrome characterized by headache,
mental status changes, generalized seizures and transient cortical blindness.
The development of the syndrome, especially cortical blindness, may be delayed
up to several weeks after the initial insult. An acute rise in systemic blood
pressure resulting in hypertensive encephalopathy is the most commonly reported
cause. Fortunately for this patient, cortical blindness, mental status changes
and radiographic abnormalities resolved with control of his blood pressure.
History of Mind Drugs
Prescription Drug Abuse
Children and Antidepressants
Adults and Antidepressants
Avoid Stimulant Drugs
Avoid Antipsychotic Drugs for Children
J. Moawad; Joshua D. Hartzell; Timothy J. Biega; Christopher J. Lettieri,
Transient Blindness Due to Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome
Following Ephedra Overdose. South Med J. 2006;99(5):511-514.
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