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Is Octodrine Allowed in Sport?

This post was last updated on May 20, 2019.


As supplement manufacturers seek to create marketable products for athletes, some may use ingredients that are known to be risky or haven’t undergone proper testing to ensure they are safe for human consumption. Moreover, these products aren’t approved by a regulatory body before they hit shelves, so products may not contain ingredients listed on the label, or they may even contain ingredients that aren’t listed on the label. As such, athletes can never be completely sure that a supplement is safe.

If athletes choose to use supplements despite these known risks, USADA has always recommended that athletes use only dietary supplements that have been certified by a third-party program that tests for substances prohibited in sport. USADA currently recognizes NSF Certified for Sport® as the program best suited for athletes to reduce the risk from supplements.

Athletes can also review USADA’s High Risk List and researching the supplement product manufacturer. Athletes should also research the prohibited or permitted status of ingredients in their products on GlobalDRO.com. One ingredient athletes should be particularly aware of is octodrine.


What is octodrine?

Octodrine, also known as Dimethylhexylamine (DMHA), is a central nervous stimulant that was initially developed in the 1950’s as a nasal decongestant. The substance was once available in over-the-counter products to treat conditions like laryngitis and bronchitis. Octodrine, which increases the uptake of certain neurotransmitters, has recently started appearing again in supplement products marketed for fat burning and pre-workout.


Is octodrine prohibited in sport?

Categorized as a stimulant under the World Anti-Doping Prohibited List, octodrine is prohibited in-competition. Because clearances times depend on many individual factors, USADA cannot advise athletes on when they should discontinue using a substance to ensure that it has completely “washed out” from their body. Octodrine is not included in FDA-approved medications for any medical condition, so USADA would not grant a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for a product containing the substance.


Are there other names for octodrine?

  • 1,5-Dimethylhexylamine (DMHA)
  • 2-amino-6-methylheptane; 2-Isooctyl amine
  • 2-Methyl-6-aminoheptane
  • 6-Amino-2-methylheptane
  • 6-Methyl-2-heptanamine
  • a,e-Dimethylhexylamine
  • Amidrine
  • Dimethylhexylamine
  • Isoctaminum
  • Octodrin
  • Vaporpac


What are the health effects of octodrine?

The safety of octodrine for human use is unknown because no placebo-controlled trials have been conducted. In animal studies, octodrine has been found to increase cardiac rate, myocardial contractility, and pain threshold. Since no data exists on its metabolic pathway in humans, the use of octodrine during exercise is potentially dangerous. Importantly, supplement products are not required to undergo any safety or efficacy testing prior to sale.

In instances of self-reporting online, the intended stimulatory effects of octodrine are often combined with negative effects like tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal.


What kind of products might contain octodrine?

Supplement products, especially those intended for pre-workout and fat burning, may contain octodrine. Moreover, octodrine may be falsely advertised online as a “’safe and legal analogue’ of banned stimulants” like DMAA (methylhexanamine) and phenethylamine. Although non-exhaustive, USADA has identified at least 35 supplement products on the High Risk List that either list octodrine on the label or contain octodrine.


For More Information

Athletes and support personnel should use Global DRO at GlobalDRO.com to easily search the prohibited or permitted status of their medications or specific ingredients.

For further clarification on substances, methods, and products, contact USADA’s Drug Reference Line at drugreference@usada.org or (719) 785-2000, option 2.


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