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BANNING EPHEDRINE When 16-year-old Sean a high-school football player began taking a product called Yellow Jackets he obviously never knew the drugs fatal effects Yet as he sat on the bench doubled over with stomach pain and a headache he knew something was wrong His doctor diagnosed Sean with bronchitis and sent him home for rest Shortly after he went into convulsions and stopped breathing The hospital claimed Sean had a heart attack Logan County Illinois coroner blames his death on ephedrine Ephedrine is a stimulant derived from the ephedra plant Also known as Ma Haung it is used as an ingredient in diet pills illegal recreational drugs and over the counter medications to treat asthma and congestion Although it has been used in China for thousands of years for medicinal purposes the Food and Drug Administration has linked ephedra to 81 deaths and 1400 incidents of heart attacks high blood pressure and stroke While the FDA does require labels on products containing ephedrine warning of possible serious effects there is little regulation In fact products containing ephedra are so easy to get that they are sold in gas stations with large flashy displays across the United States Many people are buying these cheap pills without knowing the harmful effects they may produce According to an article written by Fitness Expert Christine Lyon ephedrine mimics the effects of a sympathetic nervous system Ephedrine releases chemicals that Disko2 increase adrenaline and heart rate dilates bronchioles and increases alertness Perhaps this explains why so many athletes take these products to increase their performance or enhance their workout However ephedrine also causes tremors irritability and dangerous rises in blood pressure It has also been linked to dehydration anxiety and insomnia To make matters worse products containing as little as 25 mg of ephedrine cause these effects Therefore when individuals take diet pills such as Xenadrine which contains 300 mg of Ma Haung and 900 mg
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