Ephedrine

Ephedrine is an agonist at both a and b receptors and also enhances release of NE from sympathetic neurons; thus, it is a mixed-acting sympathomimetic. Ephedrine does not contain a catechol moiety and is effective after oral administration. The drug stimulates heart rate and cardiac output and variably increases peripheral resistance; as a result, it usually increases blood pressure. Activation of b receptors in the lungs promotes bronchodilation. Ephedrine is a potent CNS stimulant. After oral administration, effects of the drug may persist for several hours. Ephedrine is eliminated in the urine largely as unchanged drug, with a t122 of ~3-6 hours. A steroisomer of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, is used as a nasal mucosal vasoconstrictor and decongestant (see below)

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