August 30, 2012 — The largest health regulatory agency in the United Kingdom, known as the Medicines and Heathcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has banned sales of products containing DMAA. The agency has specifically named Jack3d, a product sold by the American company USP Labs LLC, as a DMAA product that poses a risk to the public health and safety. The MHRA says that all products containing DMAA must be removed from stores and online retailers, and customers who own these products should throw them away.
Official spokespersons for the MHRA said they were waiting for an appeals court ruling before issuing the ban. Earlier this year, the MHRA sent eight warning letters to companies that sell DMAA products. One of the retailers appealed the decision, but their appeal was denied.
The MHRA has decided that DMAA is an illegal, unauthorized medicine and it is therefore banned in the U.K.
The decision in the U.K. follows actions from several other countries. Most recently, Irish health authorities banned Irish-based companies from selling the products. Health authorities in Australia and New Zealand have also asked customers to discard the products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to ten manufacturers of DMAA products. Although military officials have banned sales of DMAA products on military bases, DMAA has not been banned in the country.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has also banned DMAA, and it is listed as an illegal drug for athletes. The agency said that DMAA is the most common cause of doping offenses for elite athletes. Not all athletes intend to ingest DMAA — many supplements don’t list the ingredient on the label. These supplements are also usually marketed toward athletes as a pre-workout energy booster.
In fact, when DMAA is listed on ingredient labels, it has many names. These include 1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexanamine, and gerainum oil/extract. The link between DMAA and the geranium plant is a point of controversy. Although manufacturers claim that DMAA is a natural, botanical ingredient that has been used for centuries in food and medicine, the FDA and most experts agree that DMAA is not linked to the geranium, and is in fact a synthetic stimulant drug with potentially fatal side effects.
DMAA is known to narrow arteries, increase blood pressure, and increase heart rate. During periods of heavy exercise, these stimulant effects could increase the risk of cardiac arrest, heart attack, and death. At least two deaths have been linked to DMAA. The FDA has received dozens of adverse event reports — including reports linking the drug to cardiovascular disorders, psychiatric disorders, shortness of breath, cerebral hemorrhage, and other potentially fatal side effects.
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