Definition of ephedrine in US English:



  • A crystalline alkaloid drug obtained from some ephedras. It causes constriction of the blood vessels and widening of the bronchial passages, and is used to relieve asthma and hay fever.

    Alternative name: 1-phenyl-2-methylaminopropanol; chemical formula: C₁₀H₁₅NO

    • ‘He studied the tissue distribution and metabolism of caffeine, amphetamines, ephedrine, and narcotic drugs.’
    • ‘A 43 year old general practitioner had had juvenile asthma requiring regular ephedrine.’
    • ‘Substances like phentermine and other drugs, such as ephedrine, are hidden in many supplements that the players don't know about.’
    • ‘In the 1960s, drug therapy was limited to potassium iodide and ephedrine.’
    • ‘If the medicines aspirin, ephedrine, and morphine were once botanicals, how did they get to be tested and marketed as drugs?’


Late 19th century: from ephedra + -ine.