Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
The majority of Australians recognize with the Cancer Council’s slogans reminding us to “slip, slop, slap”, which “there’s absolutely nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a questionable injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in appeal. However how safe is it, and can it protect us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Called “Mel”, “MT” or “the Barbie drug”, Melanotan is a synthetic melanocortin, which is a hormonal agent originated from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that controls development and advancement.
It assists to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that soaks up ultraviolet radiation and offers skin its colour. When delivered by injection throughout as low as a week, Melanotan has the impact of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
First established in the 1980s by researchers at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is mainly used for the treatment of skin disorders consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that affect skin look and sensitivity (particularly to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can assist relieve the signs of these conditions and allow those diagnosed to live a more typical life.
Melanotan’s tanning ability and possible usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that helps to avoid damage caused by sunshine) has also received much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a lifestyle drug.
The logic behind this pattern is that producing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with very little to no sun exposure could protect people from skin damage, and even possibly lower cancer malignancy danger. More melanin suggests more defense from UV radiation, and therefore a much healthier (and conveniently, deeper) skin tone. In this sense, there is maybe a kernel of reality to the idea of the “healthy radiance”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Medical trials of the safety and effectiveness of Melanotan are ongoing, but in 2008 the European Medicines Firm approved a mix 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 published medical trials of the drug amongst individuals without these disorders. This indicates its long-lasting effectiveness and safety for use in the basic population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan use is unregulated. The drug is currently recorded in Set up 4 (prescription just medications) of the Therapeutic Item Administration’s Poisons Requirement, no items including Melanotan are registered for usage in Australia.
This suggests while there are rumours of some specialists recommending the drug, a lot of professionals warn versus– and will not prescribe– Melanotan for aesthetic or way of life functions.
There are presently no population-based research studies on Melanotan to indicate the degree of its use, however, there are reports of its increased off-label use in the UK.
The majority of users source the drug through “underground” online suppliers at costs varying from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in the house. Users report a range of temporary side effects consisting of facial flushing, nausea, short-term freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day present a feasible service to attaining a “healthy tan” in line with present western beauty ideals. But it also develops new forms of risk worrying needle security, disturbing patient-practitioner relationships by means of unregulated 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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