BMJ Case Reports 2011; doi:10.1136/bcr.11.2011.5093
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

Running a risk? Sport supplement toxicity with ephedrine in an amateur marathon runner, with subsequent rhabdomyolysis

  1. Rhys Rhidian
  1. Department of Critical Care, City Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rhys Rhidian, rrhidian{at}


A 36-year-old man presented to the emergency department acutely unwell after being found collapsed while running a halfmarathon. He presented with a reduced Glasgow coma score, was tachycardic, agitated, hypoxic and profusely sweating. He had taken a ‘supplement’ given to him prior to the race by a friend, as he was concerned about not finishing. This contained both caffeine and a large dose of ephedrine (60 mg in total). After initial resuscitation he was intubated, and was transferred to critical care. He subsequently developed rhabdomyolysis, requiring haemofiltration.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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