Ballplayers looking for an edge aren’t the only ones taking dietary supplements containing the controversial herb ephedra. Truck drivers in for a long haul. Bodybuilders wanting more defined muscles. Young women trying to shed a few pounds. College students cramming for final exams. All of these types of people use ephedra in one form or another, whether it’s called Truckers Luv It, Metabolife or Ripped Fuel. And there are lots and lots of Americans using ephedra, perhaps some 12 million to 17 million per year, according to the Ephedra Education Council. That amounts to about 5 percent of the U. Loren Israelsen, executive director of the Utah Natural Products Alliance, said he expects Utahns would be consuming it at about the same rate.
When we hear about impaired truck driver causing a crash, we may think of drunk driving or fatigue, but impairment of truckers because of over-the-counter OTC drugs is also a leading factor in truck wrecks. The largest study of heavy truck accidents ever conducted in the U. We represent the victims of truck accidents, including families who have lost loved ones in accidents involving commercial trucks. It is important to begin work on a truck accident investigation as soon as possible. Yet the FMCSA tests truck drivers only for illicit amphetamines and methamphetamines, as well as drugs like marijuana, cocaine and opiates. For example, dextromethorphan, the active ingredient in many cold and cough medicines, when taken in very high doses, acts on the same cell receptors as PCP or ketamine, producing similar out-of-body experiences, NIDA says. But even in lesser doses, dextromethorphan can cause drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, numbness, nausea and vomiting. Truckers seeking a little bit of help to stay awake and alert on a long haul may turn to diet pills for their stimulant effect. But ephedrine can also cause insomnia, which only increases fatigue, as well as blurred vision, anxiety and other adverse side effects, like diarrhea and vomiting.
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