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Difference Between Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine

Ephedrine vs Pseudoephedrine

Pharmaceutical products are known for their presence in the treatment modalities in western and in modern medicine. It is important to know what the uses of each classification are and how each drug within the classifications differs from each another.

There are a great number of stimulants available in the market today. In fact, the coffee that we drink, and the soda that we take as part of our day to day meals are all classified under stimulants. To understand what a stimulant is, it would be easier to understand that these substances are called stimulants since they give you an alert feeling. In medical terms, this is called sympathetic stimulation. In contrast to what stimulants give, the complete opposite of stimulants is downers. Drugs classified under downers are those that make you go to sleep and relax, among which are valiums and cannabis (which could also be a hallucinogenic drug).

Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are both classified under stimulants. Both drugs have the capacity to mimic partially what endogenous adrenaline could give to the body. Though classified under one category of drug, there are striking differences from chemical compositions to how both of these drugs are used in the medical field.

Both these drugs are similiar because of the fact that they really don’t carry the whole package of what adrenaline is offering, thus the classification of symphatomimetics. These drugs can only mimic to an extent, what adrenaline can do to the body, and both ephedrine and pseudoepehedrine aren’t good brain stimulants. Though both drugs are also used in order to create methamphetamines, Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine are different in terms of chemical formation. Both of these drugs are stereoisomers of each other, which means that the hydroxyl part of its chemical formation is differently placed.

Ephedrine is the drug used to counteract the effects of anesthesia. Because of the fact that it has the positive effect of raising the blood pressure of the patient, it is given during instances of orthostatic hypotension. Ephedrine could be a good vasoconstrictor (peripherally), however, because of its sympathetic reaction; it opens up the nasal passages. This is the reason why sometimes it also alleviates runny nose and colds, though this isn’t typically given because it could cause a tremendous increase in the blood pressure and also in the heart rate.

On the other hand, the main function of Pseudoephedrine is to be used in giving relief in nasal congestion during episodes of colds. With its lesser effect in the peripheral blood vessels, it is comfortably associated with the drugs taken during nasal congestion unlike that of Ephedrine.

  1. Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine are both classified under stimulants that mimic what adrenaline does to the body.
  2. Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine are both precursors of methamphetamine.
  3. Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine differ in chemical structure found in its hydroxyl branch. One is a cis and one is trans.
  4. Ephedrine is typically used to counteract orthostatic hypotension while pseudoephedrine is used to decongest nasal passages. Though both have the capacity to increase the blood pressure of patients, ephedrine has a more powerful effect.

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