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Methylhexanamine, also known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine , geranamine  or DMAA, is an organic chemical compound manufactured as a synthetic powder.

Methylhexanamine first appeared as a dietary supplement. It was combined with caffeine and other ingredients, to be used as an over-the-counter general-purpose stimulant. Methylhexanamine is sometimes claimed to provide a euphoric effect. General reports describe similar effects to the consumption of larger amounts of caffeine, such as increased energy levels.

Prior to its ban in New Zealand, methylhexanamine (under the name 1,3-dimethylamylamine or DMAA) was used as an active ingredient in party pills.

Methylhexanamine is sometimes sold in as a fitness supplement with the claim that it is a ‘natural product’, obtained from geranium oil. While this claim is wide-spread, repeated research in 2011 and 2012 has shown that geranium oil does not contain any methylhexanamine at all. The use of the label ‘geranamine’ for methylhexanamine based products has contributed to the misconception.

Methylhexanamine powder is generally mixed into liquids to drink. It is also available in capsule format.  Some users have been known to snort or smoke the product.

The effects of methylhexanamine vary depending on how much is taken and how it is taken. Effects are generally described as similar to those of higher doses of caffeine.

Slang/Common usage

DMAA, Geranamine

  1. Health effects

    Short-term effects

    Effects of orally ingested methylhexanamine are noticed within 30 minutes of consumption. Effects last from one to 5 hours.

    The effects reported from the use of methylhexanamine are very similar to those reported from higher doses of caffeine, and include:

  2. Dependence, addiction and overdose risk

    Dependence and addiction

    Methylhexanamine shows little evidence of addictive potential (chemical dependence). It is not reported as being behaviourally addictive, possibly as similar effects can be obtained from legally available drugs with less side-effect potential.


    Overdoses (high doses) of methylhexanamine have been linked to cerebral haemorrhage leading to stroke.

  3. Law and penalities

    Methylhexanamine/DMAA is currently an unapproved psychoactive substance under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 which means that it is illegal to import, manufacture, or sell this substance without a license.

    The penalties for importation without a license can lead to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or in the case of a company a fine up to $500,000.

    The penalties for manufacturing without a license can lead to term of imprisonment no exceeding 2 year or in the case of a company a fine up to $500,000.

  4. DMAA trends

    Use of methylhexanamine as a recreational drug is relatively low in New Zealand. Prior to it being banned under a Temporary Class Drug Notice it was used by the body-building community as a training supplement to increase performance and stamina. 

  5. Reducing the harm

    The Drug Foundation’s message is clear: no drug use is the safest drug use. However, we know there will be occasions when people ignore warnings and use drugs in a dangerous manner. To help keep communities safe we therefore provide information about proven methods of drug harm reduction.

  6. How to get help

    If you feel you or anyone you know needs help, there are a number of treatment organisations you can contact confidentially.

    DrugHelp is a uniquely New Zealand website for people looking for help with their own or someone else’s drug use. DrugHelp shares the stories, experiences, insight and hope of people who have been there – people who have abused drugs and found a way through.

  7. Links

    A list of relevant links to further information and resources about Methylhexanamine,3-dimethylamylamine Good overview of Methylhexanamine Uniquely New Zealand website that helps people who use drugs, and their loved ones, find solutions to the problems drug use has caused.