Can tanning injections make you ill?

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Guidance on the use on injecting tanning agents, e.g. Melanotan


Because of the current publicity and cautions regarding the dangers of injecting melanotan the HSE has launched information and also guidance on the usage on injecting tanning representatives, e.g. Melanotan.

What is Melanotan?

Melanotan is based on a medication (afamelanotide) which was developed by the University of Arizona in 1981 to be made use of for picture protection against sunlight damage. This medication is currently going through medical tests for use in patients with specific sun-sensitive skin disease and also is not available for general sale.

The drug is chemically associated with the alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and binds to receptors (melanocortin receptors) in human skin cells. This binding to the α-MSH receptor, which has an essential role in identifying skin and hair pigmentation, enhances production of melanin in the skin, leading to a ‘sunlight tan’.

Melanotan is a synthetic analog of α-MSH as well as is unlawful, untried and also uncontrolled which is currently being sold online for self-administration. α-MSH is extremely breakable and also needs an extensive manufacturing setting which can not be assured in unlicensed production research laboratories. The product must additionally be stored in a refrigerator.

What is the distinction in between Melanotan I and Melanotan II?

Melanotan I specifically binds to receptors responsible for tanning and so has much less side effects. However far more of it is needed for result as well as therefore it is extra pricey than Melanotan II.

Melanotan II binds to receptors apart from those responsible for tanning and also as a result results in more side-effects.

What are the side-effects?

As this is an uncontrolled and untested drug the full variety of potential side-effects are unknown. Enhanced sex drive, spontaneous erections, nausea (with subsequent weight management), face flushing on management, flu-like signs, and increased high blood pressure have been reported.

Just how is Melanotan provided?

Melanotan is administered subcutaneously by injecting right into the fatty layer of tissue around the belly button location. Customers inject daily up until a preferred colour is achieved and after that continue to inject one or two times a week to maintain the colour.

Some darkening of the skin may happen making use of the injection alone yet the impacts are much more dramatic when utilized in addition to exposure to UV light (sunlight or tanning bed) 2-3 times a week originally and then 1-2 times a week thereafter.

Exactly how is Melanotan offered?

Products on the marketplace include:

  • A multi- dosage vial of 10, 20 or 30 doses for subcutaneous shot.
  • A collection of pre-filled syringes for subcutaneous shot.
  • A nasal spray.

Key issues

Product pureness as well as material:

  • This is an unlicensed, uncontrolled product. This is a fragile medication which calls for refrigeration.
  • Individuals might hesitant to position the product in their family members refrigerator. If pre-filled syringes are positioned in the refrigerator this has ramifications in terms of accessibility of youngsters to syringes.

Unknown side-effects:

  • There are no clinical trials available on the brief and long term impacts of using these products or if the dosages advised by producers are safe.
  • There is no test data offered on just how these products might interact with various other medications or their impact on a coming kid.

Infusing equipment

  • Needles used to inject can also carry bodily fluids, which can pass on infections such as HIV as well as liver disease. Sometimes, there is an undersupply of needles by the online distributors for the quantity of management needed, e.g. 1 needle provided with a 10 dosage vial.
  • This might lead to sharing as well as reusing of needles. There are records of clients using the exact same needle for a month and trying to sterilise after every usage.
  • A multi-dose vial manufactured in a non-rigorous production setting might not remain clean and sterile throughout of its usage e.g. a 30mg vial is made to be made use of for 30 doses which may cover a period of 10 weeks.
  • Some websites provide pre-filled syringes in which the item is already re-constituted with bacteriostatic water, however there is no warranty that these pre-filled products will certainly remain steady and sterilized during distribution or for the life expectancy of their use.

Disposal of used sharps

There have been records of needles being dealt with in family rubbish.

Enhanced direct exposure to UV rays

As the impacts of the tanning agents are a lot more remarkable when made use of combined with direct exposure to UV light (by all-natural sunshine or by tanning beds) use of the representatives might increase UV exposure with all the enhancement risks associated such as raised danger of skin cancer, skin ageing, etc

Injury reduction actions

  • Discuss to customers concerning the threats related to injectable tanning items.
  • Highlight the dangers associated with enhanced UV direct exposure (the sick effects of tanning still occur also in customers who have a deep tan). Customers can get in touch with the Irish Cancer cells Culture if they have concerns relating to skin cancer on the cancer helpline 1800 200 700 or
  • Encourage users to stop using, and to look for medical recommendations if needed.

If making use of

Tidy injecting devices:

  • Encourage that they use a tidy needle every time as well as get rid of needles in a sharps container. The needles offered in the infusing pack offered in pharmacies participating in the Drug store Needle Exchange Program are made like a diabetic person needle and appropriate for subcutaneous injection.
  • Suggest clients on the threat of blood birthed conditions and offer recommendations on whom to call if the client is worried that they might have subjected themselves to a blood borne condition by sharing needles.
  • A list of drug stores joining your location is available through the Medications helpline 1800 459 459.

Safe disposal.

The pack also consists of a little sharps container for utilized sharps. Pharmacies will certainly approve made use of sharps if returned in the sharps container.

Contamination and instability of item.

  • The amount of item in the vial may vary substantially, might be polluted with germs or other chemicals.
  • Check the vial prior to use and also do not make use of if blemished or if fragments noticeable.
  • It has to be kept in the fridge.
  • All medicines must be stayed out of the reach of kids which may be hard in a fridge.


  • Suggest that side-effects are unknown, as well as the doses being utilized may not be safe.
  • Results of the medication on a coming kid are unknown.
  • Effects when taken with other medications are unidentified.


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. Products:

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