Ephedra is an herbal stimulant that was used as a dietary supplement for both weight loss and athletic performance enhancement. However, it was linked to heart attacks, strokes and other health problems, which ultimately led to its ban by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Products containing ephedra and ephedra extract, also known as ma-huang, were widely promoted for losing weight and enhancing physical performance, with its popularity peaking in the early 2000s.
Unfortunately, the FDA received at least 1,393 reports of adverse event, including 81 deaths, linked to ephedra supplements. This led eventually to this agency recommending against these supplements, and eventually calling for them to be pulled from the market entirely.>
This substance is close in structure to amphetamine and such compounds raise heart rate and blood pressure, which can increases heart attack and stroke risk.
On a related subject, the FDA decided to ban phenylpropanolamine, or PPA, a compound related to ephedra, in over-the-counter weight-loss aids and cold remedies. Ephedra was marketed as a dietary supplement, over which the FDA has much less power.
The manufacturers of these supplements may be held responsible for the harm to consumers. If you or a loved one used a supplement containing ephedra and experienced serious side effects, contact us to determine whether you have a personal injury claim.