What Is DHMA?

Training. A woman's back with a gym wear. DHMA is a dietary supplement which is not permitted in supplements.
Photo by scottwebb. c/o Pixabay. See https://www.instagram.com/scottwebb/

DHMA or dimethylhexylamine is a stimulant that has found its way into sports products and supplements.

It goes by many names; 1,5-dimethylhexylamine, 2-isooctyl amine2-aminoisoheptane, 1,5-DHMA, 2-amino-6-methylheptane and Octodrine. The compound is similar in performance to 1,3-dimethylamylamine. 

The USA’s FDA has issued a number of warning letters to producers who have violated this regulatory law who have been selling various dietary supplements with this ingredient.

A review paper published in Brain Science established that DHMA was first developed as a nasal decongestant in the 1950s but had been off the market for many decades. Recently though, DHMA came back because new stimulation ingredients were being sought to replace banned drugs such as DMAA and ephedra.

There is little high quality research, especially peer-reviewed articles on DHMA which probably reflects the lack of interest in the ingredient or component because of its withdrawal in past years. The side effects do include:-

  • mood swings,
  • tremor,
  • concentration and attention deficit or deficiency
  • over-stimulation
  • anxiety
  • hypertension
  • dyspnoea,
  • rapid heartbeat
  • heartburn
  • rapid loss of energy
  • twitching eyes known as blepharospasm
  • hyperthermia

A paper in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis reported on the presence of the drug in a variety of  supplements. It was reported that the drug was synthetically prepared and not from plant or other natural sources. DHMA is assayed using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) (Wang et al., 2018).

The ingredient may have appeared in some plant extracts but this has been disputed by the authors from the University of Mississipi who contend that DHMA found in dietary supplements is most likely to be synthetic and not naturally sourced.

Regulatory Aspects On DHMA

The USA’s FDA issued warning letters in 2019 to businesses that include DHMA in their ingredient list. It is not legal to use or to market it. There is no evidence it was available on the market prior to the DSHEA grandfather date of October 15th, 1994. No GRAS dossier exists and there is no NDI notification on file for the ingredient. It is worth noting that DHMA is regarded as an illegal ingredient but whilst many agencies have known about its regular use, it has not been acted upon until now.

The warning letters were issued at the same time as those sent to three manufacturers of dietary slimming supplements who were using phenibut in a mislabeling or misbranding manner.


Wang, M., Haider, S., Chittiboyina, A. G., Parcher, J. F., & Khan, I. A. (2018). 1, 5-Dimethylhexylamine (octodrine) in sports and weight loss supplements: Natural constituent or synthetic chemical?. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis152, pp. 298-305. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2018.02.008

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