Testing for DMAA
Testing for Dimethylamylamine (DMAA)
Gym supplement usage has become popular with many health conscious individuals and there are now many different types available.
Recently some of these have attracted considerable controversy because of their chemical composition and how the manufacturers have attempted to push the boundaries with what is in these powders.
The two that we have seen cause the most confusion with workplace drug testing are Craze and Jak3d.
Jak3d – This powder used to contain DMAA (1,3 dimethylamylamine). As of August 2012, it was made illegal to own, distribute or use DMAA.
This chemical was the cause of many non-negatives with instant cups and immunoassay testing as it cross-reacted with amphetamines.
Confirmatory testing using LCMS is able to determine if the material in the urine is amphetamines or DMAA, however as it is now illegal neither is acceptable.
It is important to note that the manufacturer of Jak3d has now ceased adding DMAA and people using this supplement, providing it is made after August 2012, will not have any problem with it.
Craze – This supplement also gives non-negatives for amphetamines when immunoassay testing or instant cups are used. Phenylethylamine (PEA) is a constituent of this popular gym supplement.
PEA is structurally very similar to Phentermine which is the active ingredient found in a prescription diet medication called Duromine.
LCMS confirmation can however distinguish between the two. We do not confirm PEA as it is a non-AS4308 drug but if someone has taken “Craze”, LCMS confirmation of the instant cup/immunoassay positive will come back as negative.
Both of these compounds can cause confusion because they produce non-negatives on initial testing. It is not until confirmatory testing using LCMS is conducted that the employer can be provided with certainty about what exactly the employee has ingested.
Both DMAA and PEA are chemically very similar to amphetamines in chemical composition, and while little is documented about the effect of them, anecdotal evidence would suggest that they have a similar effect as very low levels of other amphetamine like compounds.
Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry remains the most reliable way to detect PEA and DMAA and to distinguish it and other amphetamine like substances.
Gym supplement usage is extremely popular with many young adults. The manufacturers of these powders have increasingly begun to add low levels of compounds with amphetamine like properties.
In turn, because instant cups are insufficiently sensitive to determine specific chemical structures, this has resulted in considerable confusion and lost labour hours as staff are stood down for taking a supplement that they believe is legal, but produces a non-negative for amphetamines. Both Jak3d (previously) and now Craze do this.
LCMS testing remains the best and most accurate way to determine exactly what an employee has taken and understanding that it is unlikely a ban of gym supplements would be enforceable, education of staff and their managers remains the best way to prevent confusion on this issue.
Source: Safe Work Laboratories
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