Ephedra - PPH Connection
Can Ephedra (Ma Huang) Cause
Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) ? Do
Alkaloids from Dietary, Nutritional and Herbal Supplements Have
a Causal Link to PPH ? Primary
pulmonary hypertension (PPH) is a rare and often fatal
disease that results in the progressive
narrowing of the blood vessels of the lungs which as a result causes high
blood pressure in these blood vessels and eventually leads to heart failure. The
lungs contain millions of tiny blood vessels called capillaries. These
capillaries are extremely small, just wide enough for blood cells to move
The capillaries are lined with endothelial cells that prevent blood from
leaking out of the vessel. The outside of the blood vessels are muscle type
cells that expand and contract as blood moves through from the heart into the
lungs. PPH causes the cell lining of the lung's blood vessels to weaken and
allow leakage. The leaking of blood out of the vessels causes the muscles that
surround the blood vessels to constrict. This continuous constriction
increases the pressure within the blood vessels and cuts off blood flow. The
constriction gradually worsens, eventually increasing the pulmonary arterial
pressure. Secondary pulmonary hypertension (SPH) is the result of other types
of lung disease, abnormal breathing processes or heart disease.
No one is certain
as to what the exact causes primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), but
research has shown that there are a number of factors that may be responsible
for the disease. Some of the possible causes include immune system disease,
congenital heart defects, portal hypertension, HIV infection, Collagen
Vascular Disease, amphetamine use, and intravenous drug use or
other chemical exposures. The use of certain
appetite suppressants, such as Pondimin
(fenfluramine) and Redux
(dexfenfluramine), have been found to greatly increase
the risk of developing PPH.
OF PRIMARY PULMONARY HYPERTENSION (PPH)
Is Ephedra the type of amphetamine
like compound that can cause Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) ?
Ephedrine (e-fed-rin) a-methylamino-l
propanol, is an alkaloid
from the leaves of Ephededra equisetina, E.
Sinica, and other species (family Gnetaceae) It is also called Ephedra
& Ma Huang, the plant source
for the Alkaloid ephedrine.
Indigenous to China, India and parts of South
Theses are amphetamine-like compounds with powerful and potentially
lethal stimulant effects on the central nervous system and the heart. Research
underway that may show a link to ephedra ( ephedrine alkaloids) and
primary pulmonary hypertension. Between 1967 and 1973, a 10-fold increase in
unexplained pulmonary hypertension was reported in central Europe. The rise
was subsequently traced to aminorex fumarate, an amphetamine-like drug introduced
Europe in 1965 to control appetite. Only about 1 in 1,000 people who took the
drug developed PPH. When they stopped taking the drug, some improved
considerably; in others, the disease kept getting worse. Once aminorex was
removed from the market, the incidence of PPH went down to normal levels.
Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)
Taken from the World Health Organization
executive summary, the following risk factors have been categorized based on the
strength of the association with PPH and their probable causal role.
"Definite" indicates an association based on several concordant
observations, including a major controlled study or a clear epidemic. Definite
risk factors are considered to play a causal role in the development of the
disease. "Very likely" indicates several concordant observations
(including large case series and studies) that are not attributable to
considered biases, or a general consensus among experts. "Possible"
indicates as association based on case series, registries, or expert opinions.
"Unlikely" indicates risk factors that have been proposed but have not
been found to have any association from controlled studies.
A. Drugs and Toxins
- Toxic Rapeseed Oil
- Chemotherapeutic Agents
- Oral Contraceptives
- Estrogen Therapy
- Cigarette Smoking
Ephedra & Ma Huang - How do they work?
Ephedrine, Ephedra or Ma Huang and other
products containing these extracts have according to the FDA, caused hundreds
of illnesses, including heart attacks, seizures, strokes and even 15 reported
deaths. These amphetamine like compounds act as stimulants that can
cause rapid or irregular heartbeats (heart arrhythmias) Ephedrines act in a
similar way as that of adrenaline. The ephedrine dilates the
bronchial muscles, contacts the nasal mucosa, raises the blood pressure and is
a cardiac stimulant. Further these compounds often cause psychological
side effects such as depression, nervousness, insomnia, and rapid heart rate.
When taken in combination with caffeine, ephedrine can over-stimulate the
central nervous system, leading to potentially life-threatening results.
EPHEDRA PPH LAWSUIT
the Willis Law Firm is representing a 42 year old Texas woman and her
family after she was diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH).
After a thorough investigation of her medical background, dietary supplement, and
pharmaceutical history, it was determined that the ephedra (ephedrine) from a
number of dietary and nutritional supplements, was the likely cause of her
primary pulmonary hypertension. The amphetamine like structure of the
ephedrine alkaloid is the primary medical link. The client's medical doctors
also agree that her PPH is linked to her ephedra usage. Litigation is
currently pending. (March 2004)
-PPH EPHDREA LAWSUIT
Willis Firm is also representing a 41 year old Alabama woman and her family
after she was also diagnosed with PPH. This woman also had never consumed any
of the diet pills known as Fen Phen, Pondimin or Redux.She had however taken
Phentermine and a number of different herbal diet and energy supplements that
contained ephedra. (Litigation is also Pending at this time - Mar 2004)
OPTIONS FOR EPHEDRA USERS WITH PPH
you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH),
then you may have a right to file a individual legal action against the
manufacturers of the diet pills or others. Due to the nature of this serious
and devastating disease process, PPH patients are urged to contact an attorney
immediately after he or she has been informed of their Primary Pulmonary
Hypertension diagnosis. Many
important legal issues need to be addressed early after a PPH diagnosis, that
can affect the outcome of the PPH litigation. Call us for a Free Confidential
Consultation. Talk with a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer about
your legal rights of a PPH claim against the diet drug industry and others. No
Fees or Expenses Charged unless we make a Recovery for You.
Call Us Toll Free at 1-800-883-9858
or 1-800-468-4878 or E-mail
us your questions on Free
Case Evaluation Form.