Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
The majority of Australians are familiar with the Cancer Council’s mottos advising us to “slip, slop, slap”, and that “there’s absolutely nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a questionable injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in popularity. But how safe is it, and can it secure us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Referred to as “Mel”, “MT” or “the Barbie drug”, Melanotan is an artificial melanocortin, which is a hormonal agent stemmed from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that controls development and advancement.
It helps to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet radiation and provides skin its colour. When provided by injection throughout just a week, Melanotan has the effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
Established in the 1980s by researchers at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is primarily utilized for the treatment of skin disorders consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin look and sensitivity (specifically to sunshine). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help relieve the symptoms of these conditions and make it possible for those identified to live a more normal life.
Melanotan’s tanning capability and prospective usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that helps to prevent damage caused by sunlight) has actually likewise gotten much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a lifestyle drug.
The reasoning behind this pattern is that developing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun direct exposure could secure individuals from skin damage, and even potentially lower melanoma danger. More melanin implies more security from UV radiation, and therefore a healthier (and easily, much deeper) skin tone. In this sense, there is possibly a kernel of reality to the idea of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to use?
Scientific trials of the security and efficiency of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Agency authorized a mix of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for restricted prescription-only usage by those with specific skin problem throughout the European Union.
Nevertheless, there are no released medical trials of the drug amongst individuals without these disorders. This suggests its long-lasting effectiveness and security for use in the general population is unidentified.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is uncontrolled. Although the drug is currently caught in Set up 4 (prescription only medications) of the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Poisons Standard, no items consisting of Melanotan are signed up for usage in Australia.
This suggests while there are rumours of some specialists recommending the drug, most practitioners caution versus– and will not prescribe– Melanotan for visual or way of life functions.
There are currently no population-based research studies on Melanotan to indicate the extent of its use, nevertheless, there are reports of its increased off-label usage in the UK.
Most of users source the drug through “underground” online suppliers at costs ranging from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in the house. Users report a series of temporary side effects consisting of facial flushing, nausea, short-lived freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan might some day present a practical service to attaining a “healthy tan” in line with present western appeal ideals. However it also produces brand-new types of threat worrying needle safety, unsettling patient-practitioner relationships through uncontrolled usage, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have actually worked for decades to promote.
Melanotan in WikiPedia
Melanotan II is a synthetic analogue of the peptide hormone α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) that stimulates melanogenesis and increases sexual arousal.
It was under development as drug candidate for female sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction but clinical development ceased by 2003, and as of 2018, no product containing melanotan II was marketed and all commercial development had ceased.
Unlicensed, untested, or fraudulent products sold as “melanotan II” are found on the Internet, and purported to be effective as “tanning drugs”, though side effects such as uneven pigmentation (it makes already uneven pigmentation more noticeable), new nevi (moles), and darkening or enlargement of existing moles have been reported and have led to medical authorities discouraging its use. There has been no scientific study into the long term and permanent side effects the use of this peptide may cause.
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