Ephedra Drug Interactions

There are several medications that may cause potentially negative interactions when taken with ephedra. Some of these medications include other stimulants, MAOIs, QT-prolonging medications, and diabetes medications. These ephedra drug interactions can result in very dangerous side effects, such as an irregular heart rhythm. To avoid these problems, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking ephedra with any other medications.

An Introduction to Ephedra Drug Interactions

Ephedra (ma huang) can potentially interact with a few medicines. Some of these medicines that may lead to ephedra interactions include:
  • Any other stimulants, including caffeine, cocaine, amphetamines, and many other weight loss products
  • Decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®)
  • Diabetes medications
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including:



  • QT-prolonging medications (medications that increase the risk of a dangerous irregular heart rhythm known as QT prolongation)
  • Seizure medications
  • Theophylline (Uniphyl®, Theocron®, TheoCap®, Theo-24®, Elixophyllin®).
It is important to note that ephedra is banned in the United States. It is not considered to be safe when used alone or in combination with other supplements or medications.
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