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Record Information
Creation Date2012-09-06 15:16:52 UTC
Update Date2016-02-11 01:32:57 UTC
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Metabolite Identification
Common NameEphedrine
DescriptionEphedrine is only found in individuals who have consumed this drug. Ephedrine is an alpha- and beta-adrenergic agonist that may also enhance release of norepinephrine. It has been used in the treatment of several disorders including asthma, heart failure, rhinitis, and urinary incontinence, and for its central nervous system stimulatory effects in the treatment of narcolepsy and depression. It has become less extensively used with the advent of more selective agonists. [PubChem] Ephedrine is similar in molecular structure to the well-known drugs phenylpropanolamine and methamphetamine, as well as to the important neurotransmitter epinephrine (adrenalin). Chemically, it is an alkaloid with a phenethylamine skeleton found in various plants in the genus Ephedra (family Ephedraceae). It works mainly by increasing the activity of norepinephrine (noradrenalin) on adrenergic receptors. It is most usually marketed as the hydrochloride or sulfate salt.
Chemical FormulaC10H15NO
Average Molecular Weight165.2322
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight165.115364107
IUPAC Name(1R,2S)-2-(methylamino)-1-phenylpropan-1-ol
Traditional Nameephedrine
CAS Registry Number299-42-3
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
DescriptionThis compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as phenylpropanes. These are organic compounds containing a phenylpropane moiety.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassBenzenoids
ClassBenzene and substituted derivatives
Sub ClassPhenylpropanes
Direct ParentPhenylpropanes
Alternative Parents
  • Phenylpropane
  • Aralkylamine
  • Secondary alcohol
  • 1,2-aminoalcohol
  • Secondary amine
  • Secondary aliphatic amine
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Aromatic alcohol
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Organonitrogen compound
  • Amine
  • Alcohol
  • Aromatic homomonocyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAromatic homomonocyclic compounds
External Descriptors
StatusDetected and Quantified
  • Drug
  • Adrenergic Agents
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Sympathomimetics
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Pharmaceutical
Cellular locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Membrane
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point34 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility63.6 mg/mL at 30 °CNot Available
LogP1.13AVDEEF,A (1997)
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility8.26 mg/mLALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)13.89ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)9.52ChemAxon
Physiological Charge1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count2ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count2ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area32.26 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count3ChemAxon
Refractivity49.69 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability18.8 Å3ChemAxon
Number of Rings1ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, NegativeNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, NegativeNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, NegativeNot Available
MSMass Spectrum (Electron Ionization)splash10-0a4i-9000000000-bcc578719d003732d7f8View in MoNA
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Membrane
Biofluid Locations
  • Blood
  • Urine
Tissue LocationNot Available
PathwaysNot Available
Normal Concentrations
BloodExpected but not QuantifiedNot ApplicableNot AvailableNot AvailableTaking drug identified by DrugBank entry DB01364
  • Not Applicable
UrineDetected and Quantified0.6 umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
UrineExpected but not QuantifiedNot ApplicableNot AvailableNot AvailableTaking drug identified by DrugBank entry DB01364
  • Not Applicable
Abnormal Concentrations
Not Available
Predicted Concentrations
BiofluidValueOriginal ageOriginal sexOriginal conditionComments
Blood0-6 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormalPredicted based on drug qualities
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease ReferencesNone
Associated OMIM IDsNone
DrugBank IDDB01364
DrugBank Metabolite IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Metabolite IDNot Available
FoodDB IDNot Available
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
Chemspider ID8935
KEGG Compound IDC01575
BioCyc IDNot Available
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkEphedrine
NuGOwiki LinkHMDB15451
Metagene LinkHMDB15451
METLIN IDNot Available
PubChem Compound9294
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID15407
Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Not Available
General ReferencesNot Available


General function:
Involved in carboxylesterase activity
Specific function:
Terminates signal transduction at the neuromuscular junction by rapid hydrolysis of the acetylcholine released into the synaptic cleft. Role in neuronal apoptosis.
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  1. Singh AK, Spassova D: Effects of hexamethonium, phenothiazines, propranolol and ephedrine on acetylcholinesterase carbamylation by physostigmine, aldicarb and carbaryl: interaction between the active site and the functionally distinct peripheral sites in acetylcholinesterase. Comp Biochem Physiol C Pharmacol Toxicol Endocrinol. 1998 Jan;119(1):97-105. [9568379 ]
General function:
Involved in carboxylesterase activity
Specific function:
Esterase with broad substrate specificity. Contributes to the inactivation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Can degrade neurotoxic organophosphate esters.
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  1. Maizel' EB, Rozengart EV, Khakimov IuP, Abduvakhabov AA, Aslanov KhA: [Ephedrine, salsoline and cytisine derivatives as substrates and inhibitirs of cholinesterases]. Biokhimiia. 1978 Jul;43(7):1150-6. [698301 ]
General function:
Involved in transmembrane transport
Specific function:
Involved in the ATP-dependent vesicular transport of biogenic amine neurotransmitters. Pumps cytosolic monoamines including dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and histamine into synaptic vesicles. Requisite for vesicular amine storage prior to secretion via exocytosis
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  1. Ellis JD, German CL, Birdsall E, Hanson JE, Crosby MA, Rowley SD, Sawada NA, West JN, Hanson GR, Fleckenstein AE: Ephedrine decreases vesicular monoamine transporter-2 function. Synapse. 2010 Dec 15. [21162110 ]
  2. Horton DB, Siripurapu KB, Norrholm SD, Culver JP, Hojahmat M, Beckmann JS, Harrod SB, Deaciuc AG, Bardo MT, Crooks PA, Dwoskin LP: meso-Transdiene analogs inhibit vesicular monoamine transporter-2 function and methamphetamine-evoked dopamine release. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2011 Mar;336(3):940-51. Epub 2010 Dec 21. [21177475 ]
  3. Sulzer D, Sonders MS, Poulsen NW, Galli A: Mechanisms of neurotransmitter release by amphetamines: a review. Prog Neurobiol. 2005 Apr;75(6):406-33. [15955613 ]
  4. Sulzer D, Chen TK, Lau YY, Kristensen H, Rayport S, Ewing A: Amphetamine redistributes dopamine from synaptic vesicles to the cytosol and promotes reverse transport. J Neurosci. 1995 May;15(5 Pt 2):4102-8. [7751968 ]
  5. Yasumoto S, Tamura K, Karasawa J, Hasegawa R, Ikeda K, Yamamoto T, Yamamoto H: Inhibitory effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on the vesicular monoamine transporter 2. Neurosci Lett. 2009 May 1;454(3):229-32. Epub 2009 Mar 18. [19429089 ]
  6. Fleckenstein AE, Volz TJ, Riddle EL, Gibb JW, Hanson GR: New insights into the mechanism of action of amphetamines. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2007;47:681-98. [17209801 ]
General function:
Involved in G-protein coupled receptor protein signaling pathway
Specific function:
This alpha-adrenergic receptor mediates its action by association with G proteins that activate a phosphatidylinositol- calcium second messenger system. Its effect is mediated by G(q) and G(11) proteins
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  1. Ma G, Bavadekar SA, Davis YM, Lalchandani SG, Nagmani R, Schaneberg BT, Khan IA, Feller DR: Pharmacological effects of ephedrine alkaloids on human alpha(1)- and alpha(2)-adrenergic receptor subtypes. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2007 Jul;322(1):214-21. Epub 2007 Apr 3. [17405867 ]
  2. Wellman PJ, Miller DK, Ho DH: Noradrenergic modulation of ephedrine-induced hypophagia. Synapse. 2003 Apr;48(1):18-24. [12557268 ]
  3. Berman HM, Westbrook J, Feng Z, Gilliland G, Bhat TN, Weissig H, Shindyalov IN, Bourne PE: The Protein Data Bank. Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 Jan 1;28(1):235-42. [10592235 ]


General function:
Involved in neurotransmitter:sodium symporter activity
Specific function:
Amine transporter. Terminates the action of noradrenaline by its high affinity sodium-dependent reuptake into presynaptic terminals.
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  1. Kobayashi S, Endou M, Sakuraya F, Matsuda N, Zhang XH, Azuma M, Echigo N, Kemmotsu O, Hattori Y, Gando S: The sympathomimetic actions of l-ephedrine and d-pseudoephedrine: direct receptor activation or norepinephrine release? Anesth Analg. 2003 Nov;97(5):1239-45. [14570629 ]
  2. McMahon LR, Cunningham KA: Discriminative stimulus effects of (-)-ephedrine in rats: analysis with catecholamine transporter and receptor ligands. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2003 Jun 5;70(3):255-64. [12757963 ]
  3. Fleckenstein AE, Volz TJ, Riddle EL, Gibb JW, Hanson GR: New insights into the mechanism of action of amphetamines. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2007;47:681-98. [17209801 ]
  4. Sulzer D, Sonders MS, Poulsen NW, Galli A: Mechanisms of neurotransmitter release by amphetamines: a review. Prog Neurobiol. 2005 Apr;75(6):406-33. [15955613 ]