Is this injectable tanning drug safe to utilize?
The majority of Australians are familiar 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 a synthetic melanocortin, which is a hormone derived from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that regulates growth and development.
It helps to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that takes in ultraviolet radiation and provides skin its colour. When delivered by injection throughout just a week, Melanotan has the result 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 principally used for the treatment of skin disorders consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin appearance and sensitivity (especially to sunshine). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help reduce the symptoms of these conditions and make it possible for those diagnosed to live a more normal life.
Nevertheless, Melanotan’s tanning capability and potential usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that helps to prevent damage caused by sunshine) has actually also gotten much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a lifestyle drug.
The reasoning behind this trend is that developing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun direct exposure could safeguard people from skin damage, and even potentially lower cancer malignancy threat. More melanin implies more protection from UV radiation, and for that reason a healthier (and easily, deeper) skin. In this sense, there is perhaps a kernel of fact to the concept of the “healthy radiance”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Clinical trials of the security and effectiveness of Melanotan are ongoing, however in 2008 the European Medicines Agency authorized a mix of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for restricted prescription-only use by those with specific skin conditions throughout the European Union.
Nevertheless, there are no published clinical trials of the drug amongst individuals without these disorders. This means its long-term efficacy and security for usage in the basic population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is unregulated. The drug is currently recorded in Set up 4 (prescription just medications) of the Therapeutic Item Administration’s Poisons Standard, no items containing Melanotan are signed up for usage in Australia.
This indicates while there are rumours of some specialists prescribing the drug, a lot of practitioners alert against– and will not prescribe– Melanotan for visual or way of life functions.
There are currently no population-based research studies on Melanotan to show 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 at home. Users report a variety of temporary 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 attaining a “healthy tan” in line with present western charm suitables. It also creates brand-new kinds of danger worrying needle safety, upsetting patient-practitioner relationships via uncontrolled use, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have 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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