Ephedrine is a caffeine-like stimulant with antidepressant properties that has potential health risks when taken in excessive doses, but on its own is relatively harmless and used to be present in many cough medicines. A facet of our nanny state is that no one is considered responsible enough to regulate the intake of such substances.
At present, ephedrine is not a controlled substance but is prescription only as colds and flu medicine, to be sold in quantities no more than 180mg. To my knowledge, only one product meets this strict requirement. In effect, ephedrine has been made unavailable.
Whereas caffeine tablets are available for purchase in pharmacies as a "pep me up" medicine without prescription, ephedrine is not. The reported health risks stem from combining ephedrine and caffeine for the combined effect of an overdose, which can result in heart palpitations and deliria.
Herbal sources long used for increased alertness and as an antidepressant, that ephedrine has been made virtually inaccessible is unfortunate. Caffeine can be bought over the counter in 50mg tablets, and the same should be true for ephedrine, with suitable warnings about overdosing. The health concerns are only relevant for excessive doses as typically taken by bodybuilders for extreme but health-deleterious boosts of energy.
I want this supplement to be made available without prescription in small doses, perhaps as 50mg tables, for increased alertness (for studying, etc). It is time for the nanny state to take a step back. We can be trusted with tablets containing a responsible dose of this substance.
Why is this idea important?
This idea is important because people with ADD can benefit greatly from this supplement, and having it available over the counter in tablet form is affordable for those who can benefit from it.
I do not think it is important as used by bodybuilders in unsafe amounts, or used recklessly as a pure salt, but metered doses in tablet form are important for those who can benefit from this aid to concentration.
Many with ADD go unnoticed, potentially to become depressed later in life, to be put on strong antidepressants that debilitate them, which is unfortunate. Whereas anything that can help people with mild symptoms should be encouraged.
I think ephedrine as a pure supplement in a metered dose without prescription can make many people's lives better with little to no downside. There will always be people who abuse medications, but this is no reason to withdrawing them when they have safe indications as I have described.
This is a gap at the moment for people with mild ADD, their symptoms are too mild to be taken seriously by the GP's but after many years the combined effects are pronounced. This supplement can help, it should be available.