Is this injectable tanning drug safe to utilize?
The majority of Australians are familiar with the Cancer Council’s mottos advising us to “slip, slop, slap”, and that “there’s nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a controversial injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in appeal. How safe is it, and can it protect 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 assists to accelerate the production of melanin, the pigment that soaks up ultraviolet radiation and offers skin its colour. When provided by injection over the course of as little as a week, Melanotan has the effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
First developed in the 1980s by scientists at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is primarily utilized for the treatment of skin conditions consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that affect skin look and sensitivity (particularly to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help alleviate the symptoms of these conditions and make it possible for those identified to live a more regular life.
Nevertheless, Melanotan’s tanning ability and potential usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to prevent damage brought on by sunlight) has also gotten much public interest, and resulted in its appropriation as a way of life drug.
The reasoning behind this pattern is that creating tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun direct exposure might safeguard people from skin damage, and even potentially lower melanoma risk. More melanin implies more protection from UV radiation, and for that reason a healthier (and easily, much deeper) skin. In this sense, there is possibly a kernel of reality to the concept of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to use?
Scientific trials of the safety and efficiency of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Agency authorized 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 people without these disorders. This implies its long-lasting efficacy and safety for usage in the basic population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan use is uncontrolled. The drug is currently caught in Schedule 4 (prescription only 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 professionals prescribing the drug, many practitioners warn against– and will not recommend– Melanotan for aesthetic or way of life functions.
There are currently no population-based research studies on Melanotan to indicate the extent of its usage, however, there are reports of its increased off-label usage in the UK.
The majority of users source the drug through “underground” online suppliers at expenses varying from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections at home. Users report a variety of temporary adverse effects consisting of facial flushing, queasiness, short-term freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan might some day provide a practical service to achieving a “healthy tan” in line with existing western appeal perfects. It likewise creates brand-new types of danger concerning needle safety, unsettling patient-practitioner relationships via uncontrolled usage, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have actually worked for years 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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