A study published in the ‘Drug Testing and Analysis’ journal has found that over 50% of supplements sold in the US that claim to contain oxilofrine do contain oxilofrine, despite the drug never having been approved for use in the US. US law doesn’t permit dietary supplements to contain unapproved pharmaceutical drugs such as oxilofrine, which features on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List as a specified stimulant.
Last year, Jamaican athletes Asana Powell and Sherone Simpson agreed an ‘out of court settlement’ with Dynamic Life Nutrition LLC. In early 2015, it was found that their positive tests for oxilofrine were as a result of ingredients included in a product supplied by the company, but not listed on the label. However, Dynamic Life Nutrition’s products were not analysed in the ‘Drug Testing and Analysis’ study.
The study found 57 brands that either claimed to contain oxilofrine or its synonym, methylsynephrine. Of these, 27 were available to order, 14 of which contained oxilofrine. Six supplements contained oxilofrine ‘in pharmacological and greater dosages’. Oxilofrine was developed in Europe in the 1930s to stimulate the heart, increase blood pressure and improve oxygen exchange. It is normally formulated in 16mg, 20mg, 32mg, and 40mg dosages. One of the supplements was found to contain 75mg of oxilofrine.
‘Following instructions on the label, consumers could ingest up to 250 mg of oxilofrine per day’, read the study. ‘In addition to the risks posed to athletes’ careers, oxilofrine might pose health risks to consumers […] Recently, one of us, as part of an investigation of 26 adverse events in the Netherlands, found oxilofrine in supplements (Dexaprine, iForce Nutrition) linked to serious adverse events including nausea, vomiting, agitation, tachycardia, chest pain, and cardiac arrest.’
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