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Synephrine (or oxedrine) is a drug commonly used for weight loss. While its effectiveness is widely debated, synephrine has gained significant popularity as an alternative to ephedrine, a related substance which has been made illegal or restricted in many countries due to its use as a precursor in the illicit manufacture of the highly addictive substance methamphetamine. Products containing bitter orange or synephrine: suspected cardiovascular adverse reactions . Synephrine is derived primarily from the fruit of Citrus aurantium, a relatively small citrus tree, of which several of its more common names include Bitter Orange, Sour Orange, and Zhi shi.


  • Burns fat
  • Increases energy levels
  • Increases metabolism
  • Promotes weight loss

Synephrine and neosynephrine

There has been some confusion surrounding synephrine and phenylephrine (neosynephrine), one of its positional isomers. The chemicals are similar in structure; the only difference is the location of the aromatic hydroxyl group. In synephrine, the hydroxyl is at the para position, whereas, in neosynephrine, it is at the meta position. Each compound has differing biological properties.
  • Phenylephrine acts primarily on alpha1 adrenergic receptors, so it has mainly vasoconstricting actions.
  • Synephrine's pharmacology has not been thoroughly studied. Some comparisons with octopamine have been performed. There is some evidence that it may act at β3.

Associated risks

Many diet products such as Stacker 2 contain synephrine along with caffeine. Some reports have indicated that such diet pills cause numerous harmful effects. The Mayo Clinicmarker published a report that suggested a link between Stacker 2 pills and increased risk of ischemic stroke, increased blood pressure, and cardiac infarcts.

Synephrine can also cause arrhythmias . It is similar to ephedrine and can therefore show similar symptoms (see ephedrine adverse effect).


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