Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
Many Australians are familiar with the Cancer Council’s slogans advising us to “slip, slop, slap”, and that “there’s nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a questionable injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in appeal. How safe is it, and can it safeguard us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Known as “Mel”, “MT” or “the Barbie drug”, Melanotan is a synthetic melanocortin, which is a hormone originated from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that regulates development and advancement.
It assists to accelerate the production of melanin, the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. When delivered by injection over the course of as low as a week, Melanotan has the impact of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
Developed in the 1980s by scientists at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is principally used for the treatment of skin disorders consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin appearance and level of sensitivity (particularly to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help ease the signs of these conditions and make it possible for those diagnosed to live a more regular life.
Melanotan’s tanning ability and potential use as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to avoid damage triggered by sunlight) has actually also received 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 exposure could secure people from skin damage, and even potentially lower melanoma danger. More melanin suggests more protection from UV radiation, and therefore a healthier (and conveniently, deeper) skin tone. In this sense, there is maybe a kernel of fact to the concept of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Clinical trials of the safety and effectiveness of Melanotan are continuous, but in 2008 the European Medicines Company authorized a blend of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for minimal prescription-only usage by those with specific skin conditions throughout the European Union.
Nevertheless, there are no released medical trials of the drug amongst individuals without these conditions. This implies its long-term efficacy and safety for use in the general population is unidentified.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is uncontrolled. Although the drug is presently captured in Arrange 4 (prescription just medications) of the Healing Product Administration’s Poisons Requirement, no items consisting of Melanotan are signed up for usage in Australia.
This implies while there are rumours of some practitioners recommending the drug, the majority of professionals caution against– and will not recommend– Melanotan for aesthetic or way of life functions.
There are presently no population-based studies on Melanotan to suggest the extent of its use, nevertheless, there are reports of its increased off-label use in the UK.
Most of users source the drug through “underground” online suppliers at expenses ranging from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in the house. Users report a range of brief adverse effects consisting of facial flushing, nausea, momentary freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan might some day provide a viable solution to achieving a “healthy tan” in line with existing western beauty suitables. However it likewise produces brand-new types of threat worrying needle safety, disturbing patient-practitioner relationships through uncontrolled usage, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have 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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