Monday, December 25, 2006

Where Did all the Ephedrine Go?

Please note: I am not advocating in any way, shape or form the illegal purchasing of prohibited products. I am not a licensed doctor, so please check with a doctor before taking any of the products mentioned below. However, because of the abuse of many illegal drug users, people who have a legitimate need to use ephedrine based products are being strictly limited in access to them and this article attempts to shed light on sources to purchase these products for legitimate medical needs.

As you may have noticed if you have been shopping around for ephedrine lately is that almost none of the supplement shops are carrying it in stock anymore. Due to recent legislation and the continuing risk of lawsuits, most companies that manufacturer or even sell ephedrine have stopped. The cause of this is the drug epidemic of methamphetamine production and abuse, which is illicitly manufactured from ephedrine or it's chemical cousin, pseudoephedrine. The herbal ephedra formulas have all but disappeared after an Appeals Court judge struck down a ruling that the FDA ban against the herb was illegal.

So, what's left for the people who use ephedrine as a staple in their supplement regiments? There are a couple options. is having a final closeout sale on many popular ephedra and ephedrine products, even some that have expired several years ago, but were some of the most popular blends available. But, the prices are quite high for many of the generic products and even the synthetic ephedrine hcl tablets in small amounts. Most of the products in the closeout sale are made by a company called American Generic Labs and the formulas are knock-offs of supplements like Ripped Fuel, Xenadrine, Yellow Jackets & Hydroxycut. They do also have some original brands, like D&E's Bolt Ephedrine, Megapro Vasopro, NVE's Stacker line and others. Before the first ephedra ban went into place, I stocked up on some of my favorite products. Now, however, stimulants like Stimulant X, AMP and Spike blow those formulas out of the water in terms of jitter free energy with no crash. Still, it's hard to match the good old reliable ECA stack in terms of successful fat loss.

Another place to get ephedrine online, which will probably remain available, is D&E Pharmaceuticals. D&E makes a wide variety of ephedrine hcl products, including the very popular Bolt Ephedrine without guaifenesin, which some people claim can hinder the effects of ephedrine. Unfortunately, one problem with D&E is that you have to submit a valid ID card so you can order ephedrine, and you cannot exceed purchasing a certain alloted amount per month. Bolt Ephedrine now costs a staggering $89.95 for one box of 272 25mg tablets. That amount is clearly intended to dissuade people who would want to buy this to manufacture speed, but it is also outrageously over priced for any normal customer, even people who suffer from nasal congestion would be turned off by a price like that.

eBay seems to be another place to find ephedrine, although their policies strictly forbid it. Some of the products you may find there might be from other countries that don't have as tough laws on the drug as in the US, and others might just be fake, so be cautious when ordering. If you do order, eBay and it's payment system PayPal, might not afford you any protection you would get from other auctions, since they are just as able to cancel an auction of ephedrine, even after it's been sold - voiding out any insurance that would have been kept on the auction otherwise.

Another obvious place to find ephedrine would be at your local pharmacy, where ephedrine was once commonly found in many cold medicines, only to be replaced by pseudoephedrine, and now phenylephrine - an extremely expensive compound with little in the way of options (such as time released formulas). However, there are still a few ephedrine products available. Although they don't seem to be listed on any of the pharmacies websites, many of them do still carry ephedrine products, but they can be tucked away behind the counter, up high on shelves or in other places that you would need to ask for help from an employee to find and purchase. Yet, another haven for ephedrine is your neighborhood gas station. Although most convenience stores like 711 don't carry it, many gas stations near highways still sell Minithin tablets at the register or in the isle with small packets of cold medicine. Sometimes you may have to ask at the register for them, and you will probably have to show ID for it. Many truckers still use ephedrine to stay awake for long hauls, but many new energy drinks are fast replacing it as a cheaper means to keep from falling asleep on the highway.

One product still sold at most local pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS, and even some stores like Walmart is Bronkaid. In most states, you are now required to carry a slip with a picture of the product to the pharmacy and sign a ledger to purchase it. In Texas, they will only allow you to purchase a single box, and attempting to purchase more, or go to other stores and purchase more can be viewed as highly suspicious by law enforcement. Bronkaid contains 25mg of ephedrine sulphate and 400mg of guaifenesin (an extremely large amount) per tablet. They are generally sold in boxes of 60 tabs. I found it being sold on as Bronkaid Dual Action Formula Coated Caplets - 60 ea for $9.99 and Bronkaid Caplets - 60 for $12.99 - both appear to have the same ingredients. But, I have a suspicion that the dual action formula might be a slow release form of the product, although I am not sure of that.

Another ephedrine containing product which should be available at the same locations is Primatene tablets, which contain 12.5mg of ephedrine hcl and 200mg of guaifenesin per tablet. It is available on Amazon as Primatene Bronchial Asthma Relief Tablets 60 ea for $10.63 at the time of this writing. Primatene even has a $2 off coupon on their website currently, although it appears to require you to input personal information in order to print out or receive. They also have information on stating that the Primatene tablets are now only available behind-the-counter at pharmacies now.

You may have noticed Primatene® Tablets missing from the shelves of your favorite retailer. Well, that's because in many stores, Primatene® Tablets have moved behind the pharmacy counter. Don't worry-Primatene® Tablets are still available without a prescription. Primatene is still the #1 over-the-counter medicine sold for the relief of physician-diagnosed, bronchial asthma. It's the one that has helped so many asthma sufferers get relief, every time.

BioTek Pharmacuticals also sells ephedrine in boxes with a maximum 24 count per box. As with all the other sellers of ephedrine, it comes with 200mg of guaifenesin included with the 25mg of ephedrine hcl. They also require you to mail in your identification and comply with all state and federal laws. Once you've sent in your info to them, they store it on file, so that once you're an established customer, you don't have to resubmit your information again. They do have reasonable prices and two special offers of buying 3 boxes and get a 4th for free, and if you buy 5 boxes and you get a 6th free plus free shipping.

I've also stumbled across a couple new interesting "legal ephedra" supplements. A company called Viridis Labs sells a product called Ephedra 5 and a bottled tea, appropriately called Ephedra Tea. The Ephedra 5 product contains 100mg of "Ephedra Viridis", a real genus of the ephedra family which is also known as "Mormon Tea". Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information on this compound and it's unknown at this time how much of the active ephedrine alkaloids are contained in ephedra virdis. The tea simply states that it contains "ephedra" as one of it's ingredients, and the FDA specifically mentioned that herbal tea products would be exempt from the original ban.

Are all products containing ephedra affected?

Essentially all currently marketed dietary supplements that contain ephedrine alkaloids will be affected by the rule. The scope of the rule does not pertain to traditional Chinese herbal remedies. It generally doesn't apply to products like herbal teas that are regulated as conventional foods. Ephedra is not Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for foods and not approved for use as a food additive.
Questions and Answers about FDA's Actions on Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids

One last refuge for cheap ephedrine may also be in Canada, where has been selling 8mg tablets of ephedrine hcl under the 4EverFit brand for years. The price for one bottle of 50tabs is $3.99 CAD, which converts to around $3.77 USD. However, I am unsure if they are still shipping this product to the US. Another place I was able to find Vasopro Ephedrine still being sold at a reasonable price was at Taylor's Nutrition. However, as other sites in the US require, they have a details picture and map detailing exactly what you need to file with them and which states the product can and cannot be shipped to.

Finally, many people will probably have some luck checking on Froogle (now called Google Product Search).

Be sure and check with the BBB before purchasing from a company you haven't dealt with before.

So, would there be anywhere else to find ephedrine? Probably the most unfortunate outcome of the creeping criminalization of ephedrine will be it showing up more and more on the black market, on underground steroid dealers lists and on nefarious online pharmacies. Ephedrine is a legitimate drug with a very legitimate use as a decongestant. Many people find that other compounds that claim to work to help relieve sinus passages aren't as near as effective as ephedrine is, and that leaves consumers out in the cold, no pun intended. Where does that leave people who want an effective fat burner? Probably in the realm of the new and untested world of ephedra free fat loss supplements - some of them good, some not so good.

Good luck in your search and please feel free to post any comments with your results in acquiring ephedrine or any legitimate sources for it.
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