Is this injectable tanning drug safe to utilize?
A lot of 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 controversial injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in popularity. How safe is it, and can it secure us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Referred to 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 manages growth and advancement.
It assists to accelerate the production of melanin, the pigment that soaks up ultraviolet radiation and provides skin its colour. When provided by injection throughout just a week, Melanotan has the effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
First established in the 1980s by scientists at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is primarily used for the treatment of skin conditions consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that affect skin look and level of sensitivity (specifically to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help relieve the symptoms of these conditions and allow those diagnosed to live a more typical life.
Nevertheless, Melanotan’s tanning capability and prospective usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that helps 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 logic behind this pattern is that creating tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with very little to no sun direct exposure might safeguard people from skin damage, and even possibly lower melanoma risk. More melanin implies more security from UV radiation, and therefore a much healthier (and conveniently, much deeper) skin tone. In this sense, there is possibly a kernel of fact to the idea of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to use?
Medical trials of the safety and effectiveness of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Firm authorized a mix of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for minimal prescription-only use by those with particular skin problem throughout the European Union.
However, there are no published clinical trials of the drug among people without these conditions. This indicates its long-lasting efficacy and security for usage in the basic population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is unregulated. Although the drug is presently recorded in Schedule 4 (prescription just medications) of the Healing Product Administration’s Poisons Standard, no products consisting of Melanotan are registered for usage in Australia.
This means while there are rumours of some practitioners prescribing the drug, a lot of specialists alert versus– and will not recommend– Melanotan for visual or way of life functions.
There are presently no population-based studies on Melanotan to show the extent of its use, nevertheless, there are reports of its increased off-label usage in the UK.
The majority of users source the drug by means of “underground” online suppliers at costs varying from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in your home. Users report a variety of short-lived adverse effects including facial flushing, queasiness, momentary freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan might some day present a feasible service to achieving a “healthy tan” in line with existing western charm suitables. It also produces new forms of risk worrying needle security, disturbing patient-practitioner relationships through uncontrolled use, 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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