BMPEA (also known as β-methylphenylethylamine, R-beta methylphenylethylamine, beta-methylphenethylamine and others) is an unapproved amphetamine-like substance that has been appearing in some dietary supplement products. BMPEA was first made in the 1930s as a possible replacement to amphetamine (a central nervous system stimulant), although it never became a drug because human studies on safety were not performed.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested 21 supplement products with the ingredient Acacia rigidula listed on the label and found that 9 of the 21 products contained BMPEA, which is not derived from the plant Acacia rigidula. Some dietary supplement products actually list BMPEA on their labels.

In 2015, FDA issued a warning stating, “…BMPEA does not meet the statutory definition of a dietary ingredient.” FDA continues to encounter BMPEA identified on dietary supplement product labels as “Acacia rigidula” and sent warning letters to 6 companies as recently as 15 March 2016. Therefore, dietary supplement products with BMPEA are misbranded and cannot be sold as dietary supplements.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has banned BMPEA.

Updated 21 March 2016

References

Cohen, P. A., Avula, B., Venhuis, B., Travis, J. C., Wang, Y.-H., & Khan, I. A. (2017). Pharmaceutical doses of the banned stimulant oxilofrine found in dietary supplements sold in the USA. Drug Testing and Analysis, 9(1), 135–142. doi:10.1002/dta.1976

Pawar, R. S., Grundel, E., Fardin-Kia, A. R., & Rader, J. I. (2014). Determination of selected biogenic amines in Acacia rigidula plant materials and dietary supplements using LC–MS/MS methods. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 88, 457–466. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2013.09.012

Rasmussen, N., & Keizers, P. H. J. (2016). History full circle: ‘Novel’ sympathomimetics in supplements. Drug Testing and Analysis, 8(3-4), 283–286. doi:10.1002/dta.1852

U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2017). BMPEA in dietary supplements.   Retrieved 1 May 2019 from https://www.fda.gov/food/dietary-supplement-products-ingredients/bmpea-dietary-supplements