DMBA (1,3-dimethylbutylamine) is found as an ingredient in some pre-workout and weight-loss supplements. In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that DMBA is not approved for use in dietary supplements. No reliable scientific studies have been conducted to establish the safety of health effects of DMBA. As its name (1,3-dimethybutylamine) suggests, DMBA is similar to the illegal ingredient DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine): Both are synthetic stimulants with potentially dangerous side effects, but they are not the same chemical.

DMBA appears on dietary supplement labels under a variety of names, so here is a list of common synonyms to look out for:

  • 1,3-dimethylbutylamine
  • 2-amino-4-methylpentane
  • 4-amino-2-methylpentane
  • 4-amino-2-methylpentane citrate
  • 4-amino-2-pentanamine
  • 4-AMP
  • 4-methyl-2-pentamine
  • 4-methylpentane-2-amine
  • AMP citrate
  • Amperall
  • Dimethylbutylamine
  • Methylpentane
  • Pentergy

For more information, read FDA’s “DMBA in Dietary Supplements.” Military Service Members should avoid dietary supplements containing DMBA, which is on the OPSS list of DoD-prohibited ingredients. For a list of other stimulant ingredients used in dietary supplements, you can view or download the OPSS list of “Stimulants in Dietary Supplements.”

Updated 05 March 2019

References

Avula, B., Wang, M., Sagi, S., Cohen, P. A., Wang, Y.-H., Lasonkar, P., . . . Khan, I. A. (2015). Identification and quantification of 1,3-dimethylbutylamine (DMBA) from Camellia sinensis tea leaves and dietary supplements. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 115, 159–168. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2015.07.004

Cohen, P. A., Travis, J. C., Keizers, P. H. J., Deuster, P., & Venhuis, B. J. (2017). Four experimental stimulants found in sports and weight loss supplements: 2-amino-6-methylheptane (octodrine), 1,4-dimethylamylamine (1,4-DMAA), 1,3-dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA) and 1,3-dimethylbutylamine (1,3-DMBA). Clinical Toxicology, 56(6), 421–426. doi:10.1080/15563650.2017.1398328

Da Cunha, M. O. (2014). DMBA-based supplements pulled from base shelves.   Retrieved 5 March 2019 from https://www.barksdale.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/634855/dmba-based-supplements-pulled-from-base-shelves/

Dreher, M., Ehlert, T., Simon, P., & Neuberger, E. W. I. (2018). Boost Me: Prevalence and reasons for the use of stimulant containing pre workout supplements among fitness studio visitors in Mainz (Germany). Frontiers in Psychology, 9(17 July). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01134