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DMAA Side Effects Prompt U.K. Ban

Sep 5, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

Health officials in England have ordered that all dietary and fitness supplements containing the stimulant DMAA (dimethylamylamine) should be pulled from store shelves because they put people at risk of suffering serious and life-threatening injuries.

According to a report from UK’s The Daily Mail, the ban includes the popular supplement Jack3d. Millions of units of Jack3d have been sold worldwide and in the U.K. it is no less popular. It is taken typically in combination with a workout regimen and is purported to benefit a person’s routine, helping them build muscle and cut fat.

As its popularity has increased exponentially in recent years, the notoriety has not always been positive. In recent months, supplements containing DMAA have been blamed on a growing number of adverse reactions suffered by people taking them, including the deaths of two U.S. soldiers who purchased a DMAA supplement at their base’s commissary shops.

Other reports show that supplements containing DMAA raise a person’s excitability and heart rate, many times to dangerous levels. In instituting the ban, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the U.K. (MHRA) noted that supplements containing DMAA increase a person’s heart rate and narrows their arteries. The agency said DMAA supplements can also cause high blood pressure, headaches, vomiting, and stroke.

 The Mail indicates that MHRA has already issued eight separate warnings to retailers who sell supplements containing the stimulant. These products are commonly found at nutritional stores like GNC (in the U.S.) and they’re also widely available for sale on the Web. 

 A spokesperson for MHRA told the source that retailers who continue to sell DMAA supplements will receiving a warning letter from the agency telling them to remove the products immediately. The previous eight warnings also told retail shops to stop selling DMAA supplements because they had been linked to dangerous side effects. 

 In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration is engaged in its own fight with makers of supplements containing DMAA. Since they are not regulated entirely by the agency the way any other pharmaceutical product would be, the FDA has stopped short of ordering a recall on products but has warned retailers to stop selling the products. Many retailers have ignored the call for action and continued to sell the supplements, saying they would only remove the products once the FDA officially ordered a recall.

 DMAA supplements purportedly contain herbal ingredients not considered pharmaceuticals but the stimulant is listed as a banned substance for many sports agencies, including the U.S. and World Anti Doping agencies. The companies manufacturing these supplements have been ordered to submit documented evidence showing their products are safe and effective to the FDA in order for them to continue being available at the retail level here.

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