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There has been a lot of talk about an ingredient in the dietary supplement product Craze. What is it, and is it a problem?

OPSS Answer

According to a recent study, the dietary supplement Craze contains N,α-diethyl-phenylethylamine (N,α-DEPEA), a form of phenylethylamine (PEA) that can have effects similar to those of amphetamines. The report describes N,α-DEPEA as “a potentially dangerous designer drug” related to methamphetamine that “has never been studied in humans.”

There are numerous forms of phenylethylamine (PEA), from naturally occurring compounds to illicit synthetic drugs. The only other form mentioned in the study (and listed on the Craze label) is N,N-dimethylphenylethylamine, which is closely related in structure to N,a-DEPEA.

The manufacturer of Craze has suspended production of this product as of 15 October 2013. However, other dietary supplement products listing dendrobium extracts among their ingredients have not yet been tested for N,a-DEPEA. Until further studies are available, HPRC cautions against the use of products that mention dendrobium or dendrobine as an ingredient. For additional information about dendrobium in dietary supplement products, please see the OPSS FAQ.

FAQ updated 19 May 2014

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