Clinical data
Trade names Forthane
Routes of
Nasal spray, oral
ATC code None
Pharmacokinetic data
Biological half-life ~8.5 hours
Synonyms Methylhexaneamine, methylhexamine, geranamine, geranium extract, geranium oil, 2-amino-4-methylhexane, dimethylamylamine, DMAA, 1,3-dimethylamylamine, 1,3-DMAA, 1,3-dimethylpentylamine, 4-methyl-2-hexanamine, 4-methyl-2-hexylamine
CAS Number 105-41-9 YesY
PubChem (CID) 7753
ChemSpider 7464 N
Chemical and physical data
Formula C7H17N
Molar mass 115.21658 g/mol
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image
 NYesY (what is this?)

Methylhexanamine (trade names Forthane, Geranamine) or methylhexamine, commonly known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA) or simply dimethylamylamine (DMAA), is an indirect sympathomimetic drug invented and developed by Eli Lilly and Company and marketed as an inhaled nasal decongestant from 1944 until it was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in 1983.

Since 2006 methylhexanamine has been sold extensively under many names as a stimulant or energy-boosting dietary supplement under the claim that it is similar to certain compounds found in geraniums, but its safety has been questioned as a number of adverse events and at least five deaths have been associated with methylhexanamine-containing supplements.[2] It is banned by many sports authorities and governmental agencies.


In April 1944, Eli Lilly and Company introduced methylhexanamine under the brand name Forthane as an inhaled nasal decongestant; Lilly voluntarily withdrew methylhexanamine from the market in 1983.[3]:12 The compound is an aliphatic amine; the pharmaceutical industry had a strong interest in compounds in this class as nasal decongestants in the early 20th century, which led to methylhexanamine and four other similar compounds being brought to market for that use: tuaminoheptane, octin, oenethyl, and propylhexedrine; octin and oenethyl were eventually approved for use in keeping blood pressure sufficiently high for patients under anesthesia.[4]:95–96

Marketing as dietary supplement

Patrick Arnold reintroduced methylhexanamine in 2006 as a dietary supplement,[5][6] after the final ban of ephedrine in the United States in 2005. Arnold introduced it under the trademarked name Geranamine, a name held by his company, Proviant Technologies. A large number of supplements focusing on fat loss and workout energy (thermogenic or general-purpose stimulants) used the ingredient in concert with other substances such as caffeine, a combination similar to the combination of ephedrine and caffeine.

Methylhexanamine-containing supplements sometimes list "geranium oil" or "geranium extract" as a source of methylhexanamine. However, geranium oils do not contain methylhexanamine, and the methylhexanamine in these supplements is added in the form of synthetic material.[7] Recent studies have shown that DMAA is found in some types of geraniums.[8]

Methylhexanamine is synthesized by reacting 4-methylhexanone-2 with hydroxylamine, which converts the 4-methylhexanone-2 to 4-methylhexanone-2 oxime, which is reduced with hydrogen by means of a catalyst; the resulting methylhexanamine can be purified by distillation.[9]:995–996


Methylhexanamine is an indirect sympathomimetic drug that constricts blood vessels and thus has effects on the heart, lungs, and reproductive organs it also causes bronchodilation, inhibits peristalsis in the intestines, and has diuretic effects.[4]:95 Most studies have been done on pharmacological effects when the drug is inhaled; our understanding of what methylhexanamine does when taken orally are mostly based on extrapolating from the activities of similar compounds.[4]:97 A 2013 review concluded that: "Pharmacological effects after oral intake can be expected on the lungs (bronchodilation) and the nasal mucosa following a single oral dose of about 4–15 mg. Pharmacological effects on the heart can be expected following a single oral dose of about 50–75 mg. Pharmacological effects on the blood pressure can be expected after a single oral dose of about 100 mg. Because of the long half-life, there is a risk that repeated doses within 24–36 hours could lead to steadily stronger pharmacological effects (build-up)."[4]:98

Detection in body fluids

Methylhexanamine may be quantified in blood, plasma, or urine by gas or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized patients or to provide evidence in a medicolegal death investigation. Blood or plasma methylhexanamine concentrations are expected to be in a range of 10–100 μg/l in persons using the drug recreationally, >100 μg/l in intoxicated patients, and >300 μg/l in victims of acute overdosage.[10][11]


The LD50 for methylhexanamine is 39 mg/kg in mice and 72.5 mg/kg in rats, when administered intravenously.[4]:95[12]:110

The FDA has stated that methylhexanamine "is known to narrow the blood vessels and arteries, which can elevate blood pressure and may lead to cardiovascular events ranging from shortness of breath and tightening in the chest to heart attack."[13] Numerous adverse events and at least five deaths have been reported in association with methylhexanamine-containing dietary supplements.[2]

A 2012 review by a panel convened by the U.S. Department of Defense to study whether the military should ban methylhexanamine supplements from stores on its bases concluded that: "The existing evidence does not conclusively establish that DMAA-containing substances are causally-associated with adverse medical events. However, a consistent theme among the studies is that DMAA use potentially affects cardiovascular function, just as other sympathomimetic stimulants. Without further rigorous study designs developed to evaluate the safety of DMAA, especially in patients with concomitant use of other substances, co-morbid conditions and high frequency use, the magnitude of the association of DMAA with adverse medical events is uncertain. Widespread use of DMAA-containing products by tens of thousands of Service members – often in combination with other substances – increases the likelihood of observing serious adverse events, even if the overall risk of a DMAA-related event is low, resulting in consequential impact to some Service members and other beneficiaries. DMAA should be further studied to evaluate its safety. Data from the case control study suggest that the frequency and amount of DMAA use and risk of specific AMEs, particularly heat injuries and rhabdomyolysis, need to be examined in greater detail. ... The Safety Review Panel recommended ... to continue the prohibition of sales of DMAA-containing products in Exchanges and concessions. The Panel judged that the evidence supports sufficient risk, even if very low, of another death or catastrophic illness of a Service member who has used DMAA-containing products, without any offsetting benefit of these products."[3]:10

A 2012 review of the regulatory status of DMAA found that "1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) is a pressor amine often found in food supplements for athletes at dosages of 25-65 mg. Historically, the compound has been used as a nasal decongestant but its oral application is largely unstudied leaving the regulatory status of such food supplements as unlicensed medicines undetermined. We therefore reviewed the literature on DMAA and similar amines in order to deduce an effective oral dosage. Based on our findings we conclude that oral preparations with >4 mg DMAA per dose unit should be considered as effective as a bronchodilator. Food supplements that exceed that limit are in fact subject to the Medicines Act and require licensing. Dosages higher than 100-200 mg are expected to cause serious adverse events."[4]:93

Deaths and injuries

In 2010, a 21-year-old male in New Zealand presented with a cerebral hemorrhage after ingesting 556 mg of methylhexanamine, caffeine, and alcohol.[14] Health authorities in Hawaii linked cases of liver failure and one death to OxyElite Pro.[15]

The death of Claire Squires, a runner who collapsed near the finish-line of the April 2012 London Marathon, has been linked to methylhexanamine. The coroner stated that methylhexanamine was "probably an important factor" during the inquest. Despite, according to a friend, having been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat[16] - and advised not to consume methylhexanamine, it is believed that she consumed the substance through drinking an energy drink, which was subsequently adjusted to exclude methylhexanamine.[17]


A number of sporting authorities and countries have banned or heavily restricted the use of methylhexanamine as a dietary supplement, due to serious concerns about its safety. These countries include the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.

Sports authorities

Many professional and amateur sports bodies, such as the World Anti Doping Agency, have banned methylhexanamine as a performance-enhancing substance and suspended athletes that have used it.[18][19][20][21][22][23]

Governmental agencies

In 2010, the US military issued a recall of all methylhexanamine-containing products from all military exchange stores worldwide.[36][37]

In July 2011, Health Canada decided methylhexanamine was not a dietary substance, but was a drug requiring further approval. Consequently, Health Canada banned all sales of methylhexanamine.[38]

In June 2012, the National Food Agency of Sweden issued a general warning regarding use of methylhexanamine products, resulting in a sales ban in parts of the country.[39]

In July 2012, the National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil issued a warning to the general public on the hazards of products that contain methylhexanamine.[40] It also updated the list of prohibited substances to insert methylhexanamine, which translates into the banishment of products containing such ingredient from the Brazilian market.[41]

In 2012, Australia banned methylhexanamine. In New South Wales, methylhexanamine was classed as a "highly dangerous substance" on the poisons list.[42]

In August 2012, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has ruled that the popular DMAA containing sports supplement Jack3D is an unlicensed medicinal product and that it and all other methylhexanamine containing products need to be removed from the UK market amid concerns of potential risks to public safety.[43]

In 2012 the New Zealand Ministry of Health banned the sale of methylhexanamine products,[44] due in part to its growing recreational use as party pills.[45][46]

In April 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration determined that methylhexanamine was potentially dangerous and did not qualify as a legal dietary supplement; it warned supplement makers that it was illegal to market methylhexanamine and warned consumers of potentially serious health risks associated with methylhexanamine-containing products.[2][47] The FDA has issued warning letters to manufacturers and distributors who continued to market products containing methylhexanamine.[48]

See also


  1. "1,3-Dimethylpentylamine - Compound Summary". PubChem Compound. USA: National Center for Biotechnology Information. 26 March 2005. Identification and Related Records. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 Singer, Natasha; Peter Lattman (April 16, 2013). "F.D.A. Issues Warning on Workout Supplement". New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  3. 1 2 Col John Lammie et al. Report of the Department Of Defense: 1,3 Dimethylamylamine (Dmaa) Safety Review Panel June 3, 2013
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Venhuis, Bastiaan J.; De Kaste, Dries (2012). "Scientific opinion on the regulatory status of 1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA)". European Journal of Food Research & Review. 2 (4): 93–100.
  5. Shipley, Amy (May 8, 2006). "Chemist's New Product Contains Hidden Substance". The Washington Post.
  6. Carroll, Will. (2010-08-16) Under The Knife: 997. Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved on 2012-04-12.
  7. Lisi A, Hasick N, Kazlauskas R, Goebel C (2011). "Studies of methylhexaneamine in supplements and geranium oil". Drug Test Anal. 3 (11-12): 873–6. doi:10.1002/dta.392. PMID 22147493.
  8. Heather L. Fleming, Patricia L. Ranaivo and Paul S. Simone (2012). "Analysis and Confirmation of 1,3-DMAA and 1,4-DMAA in Geranium Plants Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry at ng/g Concentrations". Analytical Chemistry Insights (7): 59–78. doi:10.4137/ACI.S10445.
  9. "Methylhexaneamine Carbonate" entry in Marshall Sittig. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Encyclopedia, Second Edition, Reprint Edition, Volume 1-2. 1988 Noyes Publications. Westwood, New Jersey.
  10. Gee, P.; Tallon, C.; Long, N. (2012). "Use of recreational drug 1,3 Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) associated with cerebral hemorrhage.". Ann Emerg Med. 60: 431–434. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2012.04.008.
  11. Baselt RC (2014). Disposition of toxic drugs and chemicals in man, 10th edition. Seal Beach, Ca.: Biomedical Publications. p. 1329. ISBN 978-0-9626523-9-4.
  12. Miya, TS; Edewards, LD (Feb 1953). "A pharmacological study of certain alkoxyalkylamines". J Am Pharm Assoc Am Pharm Assoc (Baltim). 42 (2): 107–10. PMID 13034643.
  13. "FDA challenges marketing of methylhexanamine products for lack of safety evidence: Agency cites ten companies in warning letters". United States Food and Drug Administration. April 27, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2013. is known to narrow the blood vessels and arteries, which can elevate blood pressure and may lead to cardiovascular events ranging from shortness of breath and tightening in the chest to heart attack.
  14. Gee, P; Jackson, S; Easton, J (6 December 2010). "Another bitter pill: a case of toxicity from DMAA party pills". Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association. 123: 124–7. PMID 21358791.
  15. Kuehn, Bridget M. (2013). "Medical News & Perspectives: Dietary Supplement Linked to Cases of Acute Hepatitis". JAMA. 310 (17): 1784. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281868.
  16. ["" Claire Squires: runner who died during London Marathon 'suffered from heart condition'] Check |url= value (help)
  17. "Claire Squires inquest: DMAA was factor in marathon runner's death". BBC News. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  18. WADA 2010 Prohibited List (pdf), World Anti-Doping Agency, Monday, 19 September 2009
  19. "IAAF wait for Jamaica drug ruling". BBC Sport. BBC. August 11, 2009.
  20. "Rui Costa and his brother test positive". CyclingNews. CyclingNews. October 18, 2010.
  21. "Belgian amateur champion receives one-year ban". News. CyclingNews. December 9, 2010.
  22. "Minor Leaguer suspended 50 games". 2011-11-01. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  23. "Doping: Sperren für Schweizer Aquathlet und Duathleten aus Portugal". 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  24. Long road back Cody Stanley
  25. "Enzo Maccarinelli handed six month drugs ban". Retrieved 2012-07-18.
  26. St Kilda's Ahmed Saad faces two-year drugs ban
  27. Lott, John (August 28, 2012). "Jays prospect Marcus Stroman suspended 50 games for use of banned substance". The National Post. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  28. US Weightlifting Athlete, Wilhelm, Accepts Sanction For Anti-Doping Rule Violation (2013-08-8)
  29. Anthony West loses results after Anti-Doping appeal
  30. Ronnie Nathanielsz (December 16, 2013). "Brandon Rios is Suspended By CPBO Until April 24th". Retrieved 2013-12-16.
  31. "Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and William Frullani sent home". BBC News. BBC. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  32. "Two athletes expelled for doping". ESPN. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  34. Fodil, Houssam. "Doping on Algeria's football pitches". alaraby. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  35. "FIFA extends three Algerian players' bans worldwide for four years". Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  36. "DMAA products pulled from base shelves". Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  37. DMAA products pulled from base shelves – Military Off Duty, Army Health, military fitness, army physical fitness. Army Times. Retrieved on 2012-04-12.
  38. Rovell, Darren (2 May 2012). "DMAA Brands Start To Reformulate Products Without the Ingredient". CNBC. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  39. "Varning för kosttillskott som innehåller DMAA".
  40. "Anvisa alerta para risco de consumo de suplemento alimentar, July 2012". Brazilian Government: National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  41. "Resolução de Diretoria Colegiada (RDC) no. 37, July 2012" (PDF). Brazilian Government: National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  42. McNeilage, Amy (1 August 2012). "Drug in workout drinks to be illegal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  43. "Press release: MHRA to remove popular sports supplement used by international athletes from the market".
  44. New Zealand Ministry of Health. Dunne announces Temporary Class Drug Notice March 8, 2012
  45. "New pill ingredient worries ministry". Television New Zealand. October 4, 2008. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  46. Steward, Ian (November 9, 2009). "Party pill inventor backs restriction". The Press. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  47. "Stimulant Potentially Dangerous to Health, FDA Warns". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  48. FDA Press Release. OxyElite Pro Dietary Supplements by USP Labs: Recall - Products Linked to Liver Illnesses November 10, 2013

External links

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