Yellow Jacket is a label of energy pills containing ephedra and caffeine. Yellow Jacket pills contain 25 mg of ephedrine with 200 mg of caffeine. They are also promoted as diet pills. Yellow Jackets are also the street name for barbiturates. On April 12th of 2004, the FDA issued a rule banning the sale of ephedra-containing dietary supplements.
In addition to ephedra extract and caffeine, Yellow Jacket Energy Pills contain sida cordifolia, citrus aurantium, kola nut extract, ginseng, ginger root and capsicum. Other ingredients include stearic acid, magnesium stearate, gelatin, activated carbon, black iron oxide and titanium dioxide. The FDA has not approved this supplement as either an energy supplement or as a diet pill. Its manufacturer does not claim that Yellow Jacket Energy pills treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Ephedra is a natural substance found in plants. Ephedrine is the principal active ingredient in ephedra giving the substance its amphetaminelike properties. According to “Integrative Medicine,” ephedra has a stimulant effect on your body’s nervous system and heart similar to that of amphetamines. Both ephedra and amphetamine increases your blood pressure and heart rate, decrease appetite and give you energy. The FDA has approved ephedrine in its synthetic form as an over-the-counter drug to treat asthma, nasal congestion and minor eye irritation.
The Ephedra Ban
The FDA banned the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra or ephedrine alkaloids because of concerns regarding the supplements’ cardiovascular effects. These include elevated blood pressure and irregular heart rhythm. The FDA also found only a short-term weight loss benefit from ephedra supplements. Additionally, the FDA found ephedra raises your blood pressure and increases stress to your circulatory system. The FDA further associated this stress to your circulatory system with strokes and heart diseases. All marketed dietary supplements including Yellow Jacket Energy pills were banned from sale in the United States as a result of this ban. Yellow Jacket Energy Pills are, however, still available for sale outside the United States.
As a result of the ephedra ban, manufacturers started marketing various formulations of diet and energy pills that replaced ephedra with other herbal stimulants such as bitter orange. However, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, these ephedra-substitutes do not pose fewer risks than ephedra. After the ban, other pharmaceutical companies started to produce supplements under the Yellow Jacket Energy Pills name that contain the B-complex vitamins B-1, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7 and B-12 as well as yerba mate, guarana, ginseng and caffeine.
- Diet Pill Review; Ephedra Ban: No Shortage of Reasons; Carol Rados; April 2004
- Forbes; Poison Pills; Nathan Vardi; April 2009
- "Integrative Medicine"; David Rakel; 2002