Is this injectable tanning drug safe to utilize?
Many Australians are familiar with the Cancer Council’s mottos advising us to “slip, slop, slap”, which “there’s absolutely nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a questionable injectable tanning representative Melanotan is growing in appeal. How safe is it, and can it secure us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Known as “Mel”, “MT” or “the Barbie drug”, Melanotan is an artificial melanocortin, which is a hormonal agent derived from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that controls growth and advancement.
It helps to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that soaks up ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. When provided by injection over the course of as low as a week, Melanotan has the effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
Developed in the 1980s by researchers at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is principally used for the treatment of skin conditions consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin appearance and level of sensitivity (specifically to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can assist ease the symptoms of these conditions and allow those identified to live a more typical life.
Melanotan’s tanning ability and prospective usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to avoid damage triggered by sunshine) has also received much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a lifestyle drug.
The logic behind this pattern is that developing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun direct exposure might protect individuals from skin damage, and even potentially lower melanoma threat. More melanin implies more defense from UV radiation, and for that reason a much healthier (and easily, much deeper) skin. In this sense, there is perhaps a kernel of reality to the concept of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to use?
Clinical trials of the safety and efficiency of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Firm approved a blend of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for restricted prescription-only usage by those with particular skin conditions throughout the European Union.
Nevertheless, there are no released medical trials of the drug among individuals without these disorders. This means its long-lasting effectiveness and security for usage in the general population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is uncontrolled. The drug is currently captured in Schedule 4 (prescription only medications) of the Healing Product Administration’s Poisons Requirement, no products including Melanotan are signed up for use in Australia.
This suggests while there are rumours of some professionals prescribing the drug, most practitioners warn against– and will not recommend– Melanotan for aesthetic or way of life purposes.
There are currently no population-based studies on Melanotan to suggest the level of its use, however, there are reports of its increased off-label use in the UK.
Most of users source the drug through “underground” online vendors at costs ranging from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in the house. Users report a variety of short-lived negative effects including facial flushing, nausea, temporary freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan might some day provide a feasible service to achieving a “healthy tan” in line with existing western beauty suitables. It likewise develops brand-new kinds of risk worrying needle security, unsettling patient-practitioner relationships via unregulated 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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