Scientists in the U.S. and South Korea have identified a methamphetamine analog in two sports supplements, Craze and Detonate. Ironically, these two products are being sold as natural dietary supplements.
Craze is marketed as a workout supplement by Driven Sports while Detonate is marketed as a weight loss pill by Gaspari Nutrition. Both new products and are available online as well as in stores.
International scientists initiated the investigation on Craze when several athletes, who took this supplement, failed the drug tests.
Scientists purchased Craze from three different retailers (one from mainstream retailer and two from online retailers) in the U.S. and Holland, and were tested using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography.
The results revealed the presence of a methamphetamine like compound, N,α-DEPEA (N,α-diethylphenylethylamine). The study was published in Drug Testing and Analysis journal on October 14, 2013.
Lead author Dr. Pieter Cohen, asserted that they found 20 to 35 milligram of the chemical per serving of supplements, so it cannot be ignored as contamination from the manufacturing process.
Another parallel investigation conducted by National Forensic Service in South Korea, confirmed the presence of N,α-DEPEA in Detonate supplement. When the result from Korean study was released, this supplement was removed from the Gaspari Nutrition’s website.
N,α-DEPEA has never been tested in human clinical trials, so the effects of this chemical are still unknown. However, scientists noted that due to the compound’s structural similarity with methamphetamine, it might have the same addictive and hyperactive effects as methamphetamine.
It is fairly common to discover banned substances in dietary supplements, but the fact that it was banned could mean potential danger.
What is methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant first discovered in Japan in 1894, and its crystal form was synthesized in 1919. In December 1943, the U.S. FDA approved methamphetamine for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity.
In some instances of methamphetamine is prescribed off-label for the treatment of chronic neurological disorders and treatment-resistant depression. This drug is dispensed with ‘Black box warning’ to alert the users of the possible misuse.
Internationally, methamphetamine was listed under Schedule II categories due to potential abuse as prescription drugs with high probability of misuse, are considered under the Schedule II class.
Symptoms and Side effects
Abuse of this drug has hazardous effects in the users. Even a low dose of methamphetamine can alter the functioning of central nervous system as well as respiratory system, which results in increased alertness, rapid heart rate, respiration and decreased appetite.
Long-term drug users may suffer from psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, sleeplessness, and confusion. Chronic abusers experience a number of psychotic features like hallucinations (both visual and auditory), delusions and paranoia. In some cases, drug misuse results in serious cardiovascular adverse events and sudden death.
Withdrawal symptoms of methamphetamine vary from person to person. The severity mostly depends on the duration of abuse and quantity of methamphetamine used. In occasional user, withdrawal symptoms last within days, but in long-term users, these symptoms remain for weeks or even months.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas