Docket Management
Docket: 95N-0304 - Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids
Comment Number: EC -915

Accepted - Volume 322

Comment Record
Commentor Dr. Atara Noiade Date/Time 2003-03-29 01:43:32
Organization Oriental Medicine Association of New Mexico
Category Health Professional

Comments for FDA General
1. General Comments I am writing in response to your request for comments regarding the regulation of Ephedra. We in the Oriental Medical community hear often about the dangers of Ephedra. Anything used inappropriately can be dangerous. This herb is not traditionally used for long term treatments such as weight loss or energy enhancement. Ephedra, or Ma huang, as it is called in Chinese, is a very powerful and effective herb when used for colds involving chills, fever, headaches, wheezing, and edema when properly prescribed by a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. In Oriental Medicine, we carefully consider each individual's constitution prior to prescribing herbal treatment. There is no way for a Doctor of Oriental Medicine to regulate over the counter purchase of supplements, so it is important that a consumer take responsibility by going to a Doctor of Oriental Medicine to consult or by researching the information. All sources of information for ma huang/ephedra in the pharmacy of Oriental Medicine warn against use if a person has high blood pressure. There may be other contraindications for a particular individual and their personal physical constitution. All factors must be taken into consideration by the consumer, just as when purchasing aspirin or any other drug or supplement. Recently the commissioners of Suffolk County, NY, in their wisdom, ruled on this very issue. They have decided to implement an ordinance which would allow ephedra to prescribed by practitioners of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine since the use of ephedra as well as other Chinese herbs falls under this expertise. To suggest banning this or any herb would be an unfortunate disadvantage to patients and consumers who benefit from an herb when it is properly used. Thank you, Dr Atara Noiade President, Oriental Medicine Association of New Mexico

EC -915