The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the executive agency of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom, has issued a warning as a significant number of products containing DMAA continue to be found on sale in the United Kingdom.

MHRA urged athletes at all levels of sport to steer clear of the potentially dangerous ingredient DMAA. It recently launched a ‘Week of Action’ between January 30 and February 5 supported by a number of leading national organizations to alert people to the potential dangers.

DMAA (Methylhexanamine or Methylhexamine, commonly known as 1, 3-dimethylamylamine) can be found in unlicensed medicines that are marketed as sports supplements. It has been associated with high blood pressure, tightening in the chest, strokes, heart attacks, and even death. DMAA, named on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List, is banned during sports competition and the safety concerns are well documented.

MHRA Medicines Borderline Section Manager, Dr Chris Jones said we as always will continue to take robust action when unlicensed medicinal products containing DMAA come to our attention. Dr Jones added we first removed these products from sale in 2012, and will protect public health by continuing to do so. The MHRA Medicines Borderline Section Manager also remarked that any companies, although the sale of DMAA products has dropped since 2012, selling this unlicensed medicine is one company too many.

British Weight Lifting CEO, Ashley Metcalfe, commented that weightlifting is a fantastic sport, not least because of the health and wellbeing benefits associated with strength training. Metcalfe added it is very important, as with all sports that lifters participate in a safe and controlled manner, and are aware of the dangers of taking anything that could be potentially harmful – as has been proven with DMAA. The British Weight Lifting CEO also remarked that we are proud to support this campaign and hope that it encourages lifters that wish to use sports supplements to choose only those that are properly regulated, and remain well-informed about the dangers of using unlicensed medicines.

UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead said any athlete who takes supplements containing DMAA in-competition – either deliberately or inadvertently – is not only risking their career, but is also risking their health. Sapstead also remarked if you are considering taking a supplement make sure you assess the need first by speaking to a qualified nutritionist and if you need to take a supplement, make sure you understand the risks and consequences by undertaking thorough research.

ESSNA Chair, Dr Adam Carey said we fully support the MHRA’s efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of supplements that contain DMAA. Carey added that MHRA has classified such products as medicinal products and they have no place in legitimate sports nutrition supplements. The ESSNA Chair also commented that the dangers of consuming DMAA are significant and well-proven. Carey added that we urge all sportspeople to avoid it at all costs – and emphasize that sportsmen and women can only do this by making sure they’re only buying their sports supplements from responsible and reputable retailers.

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