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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Chlorphen-Phenind-Phenylprop
Ephedra is the plant from which the drug ephedrine was originally isolated. Phenylpropanolamine and ephedrine have similar effects and side effects. Until 2004, ephedra, also called ma huang, was used in many herbal products including supplements promoted for weight loss.
While interactions between phenylpropanolamine and ephedra have not been reported, it seems likely that such interactions could occur. To prevent potential problems, people taking phenylpropanolamine-containing products should avoid using ephedra/ephedrine-containing products.
Antihistamines, including chlorpheniramine, can cause “anticholinergic” side effects such as dryness of mouth and heart palpitations. Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) also has anticholinergic activity and side effects. Therefore, use of henbane with chlorpheniramine could increase the risk of anticholinergic side effects, though apparently no interactions have yet been reported. Henbane should not be taken except by prescription from a physician trained in its use, as it is extremely toxic.
Many drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure cause relaxation or dilation of blood vessels. Laboratory studies show that emodin, a compound in Polygonum multiflorum, also relaxes blood vessels. However, animal studies reveal that phenylephrine blocks the action of emodin. Controlled studies are needed to determine whether Polygonum multiflorum helps people with high blood pressure and whether phenylephrine blocks its beneficial effects.
Last Review: 03-24-2015
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