Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
A lot of Australians recognize with the Cancer Council’s slogans 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 protect 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 development and development.
It helps to accelerate the production of melanin, the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet radiation and offers skin its colour. When delivered by injection throughout just a week, Melanotan has the effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
Developed in the 1980s by scientists at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is principally utilized for the treatment of skin conditions including vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin look and sensitivity (especially to sunshine). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can assist alleviate the signs of these conditions and enable those identified to live a more typical life.
Melanotan’s tanning ability and prospective use as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to avoid damage caused by sunshine) has also received much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a lifestyle drug.
The reasoning behind this pattern is that producing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with very little to no sun exposure might protect people from skin damage, and even possibly lower cancer malignancy danger. More melanin means more defense from UV radiation, and therefore a healthier (and conveniently, deeper) skin. In this sense, there is maybe a kernel of truth to the idea of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Clinical trials of the safety and efficiency of Melanotan are continuous, but in 2008 the European Medicines Firm approved a blend of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for minimal prescription-only use by those with specific skin conditions throughout the European Union.
However, there are no published clinical trials of the drug amongst individuals without these conditions. This suggests its long-lasting effectiveness and security for use in the general population is unidentified.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is uncontrolled. Although the drug is presently recorded in Schedule 4 (prescription only medications) of the Healing Goods Administration’s Poisons Standard, no items consisting of Melanotan are registered for use in Australia.
This implies while there are rumours of some practitioners recommending the drug, the majority of professionals warn against– and will not prescribe– Melanotan for visual or lifestyle functions.
There are presently no population-based studies on Melanotan to suggest the extent of its use, nevertheless, there are reports of its increased off-label use in the UK.
Most of users source the drug by means of “underground” online suppliers at expenses varying from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in the house. Users report a range of brief side effects including facial flushing, nausea, momentary freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day present a viable service to achieving a “healthy tan” in line with current western charm perfects. However it also produces new types of risk concerning needle safety, disturbing patient-practitioner relationships through uncontrolled use, 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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