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The TGA decision to ban DMAA

Behind the news

3 August 2012

This TGA behind-the-news article was published on 3 August 2012. Behind-the-news articles are published in response to issues that are of interest to the community at a point in time, for example, subjects that have been in the media.

The TGA has banned the use of the chemical 1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA). As of 8 August 2012 the use of DMAA is illegal.

The TGA urges people not to obtain, supply or use DMAA. DMAA is a toxic substance with dangerous side effects. Buying such substances over the Internet is risky, not least because the strength of different DMAA batches can vary a great deal. On 2 August 2012 the WA State Coroner found that a fly-in-fly-out mine worker died from taking DMAA, which he'd bought over the Internet.

The ban includes the personal use of DMAA, whether bought over the Internet or not.

If you have consumed DMAA and are concerned about your health, please seek medical advice.

DMAA: what it is

DMAA is often used as an ingredient in so-called sports food supplements, and has been available in powder and capsule form. It is often used by body builders, and is sometimes taken by miners and truck drivers. It is also used as a recreational drug.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand provides a list of brands that tested positive for DMAA. If you own one of these products, or any others that you think might contain DMAA, please throw them away.

Why DMAA is banned

Among the reasons DMAA is banned are:

  • DMAA has no health benefits and is a toxic substance.
  • Risks associated with its use include high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, bleeding in the brain and stroke.
  • Its long-term safety has not been demonstrated.
  • DMAA presents a high risk of abuse, misuse and illicit use.

The TGA has made a final decision to include DMAA in Schedule 10 of the Poisons Standard after a consultative process that took into account a range of public submissions.

States and territories will be implementing the TGA's decision. Please contact your relevant state/territory drugs and poisons units for more information.