Ephedra Ban

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

"Ephedra's been around for many many years."

But now the once popular weight-loss drug is banned from stores. Pat Vann is a pharmacist that has dealt with the dietary supplement for years.

"Many dietary supplement products just added Ephedra to them. So that if you were missing a meal because of the ephedra content in the product, you still got your nutritional supplements at the same time."

The drug has been linked to over 100 deaths. It's called a Central Nervous System, or CNS, stimulant and can affect heart rate due to its amphetamine similarities.

But Vann says that prescription CNS stimulants can work if monitored by a physician.

"Diet and exercise certainly are the things that work the best along with a little help. I know doctors who still provide prescription CNS stimulants."

And Vann says when the dangers of Ephedra came to light a replacement surfaced, Mahuang.

"Which is basically ephedra. Which is a Chinese herb, and it is metabolized into ephedra when they were taking this particular."

And he says now that Ephedra is banned from stores, another weight loss product will probably take its place.

"There'll be some new products that will come along. They'll have some herbs in them that supposedly can help."

Vann also says the new herbs should be CNS-free and therefore pose less of a health risk.


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