FeaturesHealth Matters Red CrossCalendar,

West Nile VirusHonors & Awards Announcements

Health & Fitness News Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)


What you need to know about ephedra

[FEB. 22, 2003]  Ephedrine, also known as ephedra or ma huang, has injured or killed 800 users.

Products containing ephedrine

Super Cap & White Cross

Yellow Jacket

Black Beauty

What is ephedrine?

What are ephedrine, ephedra and ma huang?

These terms are used to refer to the same substance derived from the plant ephedra. Ephedrine supplements are derived from the dried branches of the plant known as ephedra. Ephedra grows primarily in Mongolia and parts of China. In the United States, ephedra and ephedrine are sold in health food stores under a variety of brand names. Ephedrine is widely used for weight loss, as an energy booster and to enhance athletic performance. These products often contain other stimulants, such as caffeine, which may have collective effects and increase the potential for adverse effects.

Ephedra contains ephedrine, a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system. It is found in products such as Metabolife, Yellow Jackets, Stacker 2, Black Beauties and other products. The FDA believes that ephedra may be related to numerous deaths. Most of the serious injuries involve high blood pressure that can cause bleeding in the brain, a stroke or a heart attack. Ephedrine alkaloids are amphetaminelike compounds used in over-the-counter and prescription drugs with potentially lethal stimulant effects on the central nervous system and heart.



Ephedra is one of the most dangerous of the dietary supplements. People continue to believe that because herbs are "natural" they are harmless. Dietary supplements may interact with prescription, as well as over-the-counter, medications. However, many dietary remedies are dangerous, such as creatine.

There is limited research evaluating creatine's safety and usefulness. The FDA does not regulate creatine, an over-the-counter drug that has been marketed to enhance sport performance. Adverse effects associated with the use of creatine include muscle strain, stomach upsets and kidney problems.

Recent studies show that many people are seriously injured by the use of ephedrine. They are often unaware that ephedrine suppliers can make wide-ranging health claims about the product that have no scientific basis.


FDA warnings

No-Doz and Vivarin are other types of over-the-counter drugs that advertise increased alertness. These caffeine tablets can cause nausea, insomnia, tremors, irritability, depression, chest pain and dizziness.

"The FDA is warning consumers not to purchase or consume ephedrine-containing dietary supplements with labels that often portray the products as apparent alternatives to illegal street drugs such as 'ecstasy.' Possible adverse effects of ephedrine range from clinically significant effects such as heart attack, stroke, seizures, psychosis and death, to clinically less significant effects that may indicate the potential for more serious effects (for example: dizziness, headache, gastrointestinal distress, irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations). Ingredient panels on these products may list ma huang, Chinese ephedra, ma huang extract, ephedra, ephedra sinica, ephedra extract, ephedra herb powder or epitonin, all [of] which indicate a source of ephedrine."


[to top of second column in this article]

Dietary supplements do not need approval from the FDA before they are marketed. Also, manufacturers do not need to register themselves or their dietary supplement products with the FDA before producing or selling them.

Deceptive marketing

A law known as the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act, which was passed in 1994, prevents the FDA from regulating these products. Prior to this act about supplements, the FDA claimed it had the power to regulate them and tried to make the manufacturers and suppliers prove their safety claims for their products.

The use of herbs in the United States has increased dramatically since the passage of the act. In 1997, 60 million Americans spent $3.24 billion on herbs for reasons such as migraines, hypertension, depression, weight loss and sexual stamina. An estimated 15 million adults are at risk for potential herb-drug interactions.

Deceptive marketing occurs when the supplement industry selects brand names or uses wording on labels such as "fat burner" or "detoxifies" or "natural ecstasy" to suggest the impossible.

Contact the FDA

If you think you, or someone you know, have suffered a serious harmful effect or illness from a product the FDA regulates, including dietary supplements, the first thing you should do is contact or see your health care provider immediately. Then you and your health care provider are encouraged to report this problem to the FDA. You, or anyone, may report a serious adverse event or illness directly to the FDA, by calling 1 (800) FDA-1088 or by fax to 1 (800) FDA-0178. The identity of the reporter or patient is kept confidential.

If you, or someone you know, is addicted to any drug, contact Logan-Mason Mental Health for treatment options.

[Logan-Mason Mental Health]

This pamphlet material was developed by Kristi Lessen, N.I.S., Logan-Mason Mental Health substance abuse prevention specialist, in collaboration with Richard Alexander, M.D., medical director of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois and medical director of Memorial Behavioral Health Group. The pamphlet is paid for in part by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Logan-Mason Mental Health

(A division of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois)

304 Eighth St.

Lincoln, IL 62656

(217) 735-2272


Health Matters

A monthly feature from  Logan County Health Department

Red Cross

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus links

LDN articles

Federal websites

State websites

Honors & Awards


CICBC blood drives monthly at paramedics' building

Schedule for 2003 announced

Blood supplies across the nation are critical. In some areas, there is less than a one-day supply. Fortunately, thanks to the dedicated donors in central Illinois, these tremendous shortages have not yet touched our hospitals. However, the blood supply is a resource that must be renewed. Every three seconds someone needs a blood transfusion of some kind. To accommodate this constant usage, community members must continually help replenish the supply. Since a donor can donate whole blood only every eight weeks, Central Illinois Community Blood Center needs community members to come forward and help with this lifesaving effort.

Central Illinois Community Blood Center provides all of the blood and blood products for 12 area hospitals, including those in Lincoln, Hopedale and Springfield. No other organization provides blood in these hospitals. CICBC is a community-based blood center whose mission is to provide a safe and adequate blood supply for patients in local hospitals in a cost-effective manner.

When you donate blood through CICBC, you help to keep a safe and adequate blood supply for your community. You also help keep local medical costs under control. Regularly scheduled blood drives are on the first Monday of each month (except Labor Day) at the Logan County Paramedics Association building, 1300 N. Postville Road. (See 2003 schedule below.) Please help by donating blood.


[to top of second column in this article]

CICBC will also bring its automated double red cell machine, and if donors are interested in platelet apheresis, information will be available. If there is enough interest, CICBC will bring apheresis machines to Lincoln.

CICBC also provides other services for the communities served, such as therapeutic phlebotomy at no charge for patients with hereditary hemochromatosis.

For more information, call Terry Bell at 753-1530.

[CICBC press release]

CICBC blood drive schedule
  • March 3, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedics Association building

  • March 12, hours and location to be announced

  • April 7, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedics Association building

  • April 11, at Lincoln Community High School

  • May 5, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedics Association building

  • May 14, hours and location to be announced

  • June 2, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedics Association building

  • July 7, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedics Association building

  • July 15, hours and location to be announced

[to top of second column in this section]

  • Aug. 4, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedics Association building

  • Sept. 8, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedics Association building

  • Sept. 24, hours and location to be announced

  • Oct. 6, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedics Association building

  • Nov. 3, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedics Association building

  • Nov. 12, hours and location to be announced

  • Dec. 1, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedics Association building

Mobile health unit schedule

The Rural Health Partnership has announced the schedule for its mobile health unit for 2002.


Morning: 9-11 a.m.



Afternoon: 1-3:30 p.m.


1st and 3rd


1st and 3rd



2nd and 4th

San Jose

2nd and 4th






Mount Pulaski



New Holland




1st and 3rd




2nd and 4th

Friendship Manor-Lincoln


1st, 2nd, 4th

Village Hall-Latham




2nd and 4th




Maintenance/ special events


special events

The mobile health unit does not operate on the following dates for holidays during 2002:  Jan. 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Feb. 18 (Presidents' Day), March 29 (Good Friday), May 27 (Memorial Day), July 4 (Independence Day), Sept. 2 (Labor Day), Oct. 14 (Columbus Day), Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), Nov. 28-29 (Thanksgiving break) and Dec. 24-25 (Christmas break).

For more information on the mobile health unit schedule and services, contact Dayle Eldredge at (217) 732-2161, Ext. 409.

Community resource list

This family resource list to save and use is provided by the Healthy Communities Partnership and the Healthy Families Task Force, 732-2161, Ext. 409.         


Phone number


Lincoln agencies


911 (emergency)
732-3911 (office -- non-emergency)

911 Pekin St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital


315 Eighth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

American Red Cross

732-2134 or 
1 (800) 412-0100

125 S. Kickapoo
Lincoln, IL 62656

Catholic Social Services


310 S. Logan
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln/Logan County Chamber
of Commerce


303 S. Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Community Action (CIEDC)


1800 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Crisis Pregnancy Center/
Living Alternatives


408 A Pulaski St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

DCFS (Department of Children
& Family Services)

735-4402 or 
1 (800) 252-2873
(crisis hotline)

1120 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Heartland Community College
- GED program


620 Broadway St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Housing Authority


1028 N. College St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Illinois Breast & Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP)

735-2317 or 
1 (800) 269-4019

109 Third St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Illinois Employment and Training Center (replaces JTPA office)


120 S. McLean St., Suite B
Farm Bureau Building
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Area YMCA


319 W. Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln/Logan Food Pantry


P.O. Box 773
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Parents' Center


100 S. Maple
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Park District


1400 Primm Rd.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan County Department of Human Services (Public Aid)


1500 Fourth St.
P.O. Box 310
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan County Health Department


109 Third St.
P.O. Box 508
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan-Mason Mental Health

735-2272 or
732-3600 (crisis line)

304 Eighth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan-Mason Rehabilitation Center


760 S. Postville Drive
Lincoln, IL 62656

The Oasis
(Senior Citizens of Logan County)


501 Pulaski St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Project READ


620 Broadway St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Salvation Army


1501 N. Kickapoo
Lincoln, IL 62656

Senior Services of Central Illinois

732-6213 or 
1 (800) 252-8966
(crisis line)

109 Third St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

U. of I. Extension Service


980 N. Postville Drive
Lincoln, IL 62656

Springfield agencies

Department of Aging


421 E. Capitol, #100
Springfield, IL 62701-1789

American Cancer Society

(24 hour)

1305 Wabash, Suite J
Springfield, IL 62704

Community Child Care Connection

(217) 525-2805 or
1 (800) 676-2805

1004 N. Milton Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-4430

Hospice Care of Illinois

1 (800) 342-4862
(24 hour) or
732-2161, Ext. 444

720 N. Bond
Springfield, IL 62702

Illinois Department of Public Health

(217) 782-4977

535 W. Jefferson
Springfield, IL 62761

Legal Assistance Foundation

(217) 753-3300 or
1 (800) 252-8629

730 E. Vine St., Suite 214
Springfield, IL 62703

Sojourn Shelter & Services Inc.

732-8988 or
1 (866) HELP4DV
(24-hour hotline)

1800 Westchester Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62704

U. of I. Division of Specialized Care for Children

524-2000 or 
1 (800) 946-8468

421 South Grand Ave. West
Second Floor
Springfield, IL 62704

Logan County libraries

Atlanta Library 

(217) 648-2112

100 Race St.
Atlanta, IL 61723

Elkhart Library

(217) 947-2313

121 E. Bohan
Elkhart, IL 62634

Lincoln Public Library


725 Pekin St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Mount Pulaski Library


320 N. Washington
Mount Pulaski, IL 62548

(updated 2-15-02)

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Calendar

Letters to the Editor