- An alkaloid from the leaves of Ephedra equisetina, E. sinica, and other species (family Gnetaceae), or produced synthetically; an adrenergic (sympathomimetic) agent with actions similar to those of epinephrine; used as a bronchodilator, mydriatic, pressor agent, and topical vasoconstrictor. Generally used salts are e. hydrochloride and e. sulfate.
* * *ephed·rine i-'fed-rən, Brit also 'ef-ə-drən n a crystalline alkaloid C10H15NO extracted from a Chinese ephedra (Ephedra sinica) or synthesized that has the physiological action of epinephrine and is usu. used in the form of its hydrochloride C10H15NO·HCl or sulfate (C10H15NO)2·H2SO4 as a bronchodilator, nasal decongestant, and vasopressor see ephedra (2), pseudoephedrine
* * *n.a drug that causes constriction of blood vessels and widening of the bronchial passages (see sympathomimetic). It is used mainly as a nasal decongestant, being administered as nasal drops or included with other ingredients in oral cold remedies. It may cause nausea, insomnia, headache, and nervousness.
* * *ephed·rine (ə-fedґrin) (efґə-drin) [USP] an adrenergic obtained from Ephedra species or prepared synthetically. It stimulates both α- and β-adrenergic receptors and causes increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure and cardiac output by enhancing the release of endogenous norepinephrine from sympathetic neurons. It is also a central nervous system stimulant. It has been used as an ingredient in numerous supplements, with purported benefits including weight loss, increased energy, and enhanced athletic performance, but has been banned from nonprescription use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration.
Medical dictionary. 2011.