Nine prohibited stimulants found in sports and weight loss supplements: deterenol, phenpromethamine (Vonedrine), oxilofrine, octodrine, beta-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA), 1,3-dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA), 1,4-dimethylamylamine (1,4-DMAA), 1,3-dimethylbutylamine (1,3-DMBA) and higenamine

Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2021 Nov;59(11):975-981. doi: 10.1080/15563650.2021.1894333. Epub 2021 Mar 23.


Background: Weight loss and sports supplements containing deterenol have been associated with serious adverse events including cardiac arrest.

Objective: To determine the presence and quantity of experimental stimulants in dietary supplements labeled as containing deterenol sold in the United States.

Methods: Dietary supplements available for sale in the US and labeled as containing deterenol or one of its synonyms (e.g., isopropylnorsynephrine and isopropyloctopamine) were purchased online. For each brand, one container or subsample was analyzed by NSF International (Ann Arbor, MI) and one container or subsample by the Netherland's National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM, Bilthoven, The Netherlands). When differences existed between the two containers or subsamples of the same brand, both products were reanalyzed by Sciensano (Brussels, Belgium). NSF International carried out qualitative and quantitative analyses using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometry. RIVM performed qualitative and quantitative analysis using UHPLC quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Sciensano carried out qualitative analysis using UHPLC quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometry.

Results: Seventeen brands of supplements were analyzed. Many brands included more than one prohibited stimulant in the same product: 4 brands (24%, 4/17) included 2 stimulants, 2 (12%, 2/17) combined 3 stimulants, and 2 (12%, 2/17) combined 4 stimulants. The range of quantities per recommended serving size of the 9 stimulants detected were 2.7 mg to 17 mg of deterenol; 1.3 mg to 20 mg of phenpromethamine (Vonedrine); 5.7 mg to 92 mg of beta-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA); 18 mg to 73 mg of octodrine; 18 mg to 55 mg of oxilofrine; 48 mg of higenamine; 17 mg of 1,3-dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA); 1.8 mg to 6.6 mg of 1,3-dimethylbutylamine (1,3-DMBA); and 5.3 mg of 1,4-dimethylamylamine (1,4-DMAA).

Conclusion: Weight loss and sports supplements listing deterenol as an ingredient contained 9 prohibited stimulants and 8 different mixtures of stimulants, with as many as 4 experimental stimulants per product. These cocktails of stimulants have never been tested in humans and their safety is unknown.

Keywords: Cardiovascular; adulteration; dietary supplements.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Agonists / adverse effects
  • Adrenergic Agonists / analysis*
  • Alkaloids / analysis
  • Amines / analysis
  • Amphetamines / analysis
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / analysis*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / analysis*
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis*
  • Ephedrine / analogs & derivatives
  • Ephedrine / analysis
  • Heptanes / analysis
  • Humans
  • Octopamine / analogs & derivatives
  • Octopamine / analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines / analysis
  • United States


  • 1,3-dimethylamylamine
  • 1,4-dimethylamylamine
  • 2-amino-6-methylheptane
  • Adrenergic Agonists
  • Alkaloids
  • Amines
  • Amphetamines
  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Heptanes
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines
  • beta-methylphenyl-ethylamine
  • Octopamine
  • deterenol
  • oxilofrine
  • Ephedrine
  • 1,3-dimethylbutylamine
  • higenamine