University of Hertfordshire

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Octodrine: New Questions and Challenges in Sport Supplements

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Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018


Background: Octodrine is the trade name for Dimethylhexylamine (DMHA), a central nervous stimulant that increases the uptake of dopamine and noradrenaline. Originally developed as a nasal decongestant in the 1950’s, it has recently been re-introduced on the market as a pre-workout and ‘fat-burner’ product but its use remains unregulated. Our work provides the first observational cross-sectional analytic study on Octodrine as a new drug trend and its associated harms after a gap spanning seven decades. Methods: A comprehensive multilingual assessment of literature, websites, drug fora and other online resources was carried out with no time restriction in English, German, Russian and Arabic. Keywords included Octodrine’s synonyms and chemical isomers. Results: Only five relevant publications emerged from the literature search, with most of the available data on body building websites and fora. Since 2015, Octodrine has been advertised online as “the next big thing” and “the god of stimulants,” with captivating marketing strategies directed at athletes and a wider cohort of users. Reported side-effects include hypertension, dyspnoea and hyperthermia. Conclusions: The uncontrolled use of Octodrine, its physiological and psychoactive effects raise serious health implications with possible impact on athletes and doping practices. This new phenomenon needs to be thoroughly studied and monitored.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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