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J Herb Pharmacother. 2005;5(3):67-86.

Ephedra: yesterday, DSHEA, and tomorrow--a ten year perspective on the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.

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Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy.


The Dietary Supplement Heath and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) established the regulatory framework for dietary supplements in the United States, triggering the growth of a multi-billion dollar industry. Ephedra is a dietary supplement used for weight loss. However, due to its sympathomimetic activity, it has caused stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, and death. Accordingly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has prohibited its sale in the United States since April 12, 2004. Consequently, numerous other dietary supplements are attempting to fill the marketing void. An evaluation of these products demonstrates a general lack of efficacy and safety data. Thus, in the ten years since the passage of DSHEA, the dietary supplement industry remains controversial and a concern for consumer safety.

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