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Guidance on the usage on injecting tanning representatives, e.g. Melanotan


As a result of the recent attention as well as warnings about the dangers of injecting melanotan the HSE has actually launched information and also recommendations on the use on injecting tanning agents, e.g. Melanotan.

What is Melanotan?

Melanotan is based on a medication (afamelanotide) which was developed by the University of Arizona in 1981 to be made use of for picture security versus sun damage. This medication is currently going through medical tests for use in patients with particular sun-sensitive skin conditions as well as is not available for general sale.

The medicine is chemically connected to the alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormonal agent (α-MSH) and also binds to receptors (melanocortin receptors) in human skin cells. This binding to the α-MSH receptor, which has an essential duty in identifying skin and also hair coloring, increases manufacturing of melanin in the skin, causing a ‘sun tan’.

Melanotan is a synthetic analog of α-MSH and also is illegal, untried and uncontrolled which is currently being offered online for self-administration. α-MSH is very delicate as well as calls for a rigorous manufacturing atmosphere which can not be guaranteed in unlicensed manufacturing research laboratories. The product must also be kept in a fridge.

What is the difference between Melanotan I and Melanotan II?

Melanotan I particularly binds to receptors in charge of tanning and so has much less adverse effects. Nonetheless a lot more of it is required for result and also for that reason it is a lot more expensive than Melanotan II.

Melanotan II binds to receptors besides those in charge of tanning and for that reason leads to more side-effects.

What are the side-effects?

As this is an uncontrolled as well as untested drug the full variety of prospective side-effects are unknown. Increased sex drive, spontaneous erections, queasiness (with subsequent weight loss), face flushing on management, flu-like signs and symptoms, and also enhanced high blood pressure have actually been reported.

Exactly how is Melanotan administered?

Melanotan is administered subcutaneously by infusing right into the fatty layer of cells around the stubborn belly button area. Customers infuse daily up until a preferred colour is achieved and then continue to inject one or two times a week to maintain the colour.

Some dimming of the skin may take place making use of the injection alone yet the results are much more dramatic when made use of in addition to direct exposure to UV light (sun or tanning bed) 2-3 times a week initially and after that 1-2 times a week thereafter.

How is Melanotan readily available?

Products on the market consist of:

  • A multi- dosage vial of 10, 20 or 30 dosages for subcutaneous injection.
  • A collection of pre-filled syringes for subcutaneous shot.
  • A nasal spray.

Main concerns

Item pureness and also web content:

  • This is an unlicensed, unregulated item. This is a vulnerable drug which requires refrigeration.
  • Users may unwilling to position the item in their family members fridge. If pre-filled syringes are positioned in the fridge this has implications in terms of gain access to of kids to syringes.

Unknown side-effects:

  • There are no professional tests readily available on the brief as well as long-term results of using these items or if the dosages advised by manufacturers are secure.
  • There is no test information offered on how these items might engage with various other drugs or their effect on an unborn youngster.

Injecting devices

  • Needles made use of to inject might also lug physical fluids, which can pass on infections such as HIV and also liver disease. In many cases, there is an undersupply of needles by the online suppliers for the amount of administration needed, e.g. 1 needle supplied with a 10 dose vial.
  • This might result in sharing and also reusing of needles. There are reports of clients utilizing the very same needle for a month and also attempting to sterilise after every usage.
  • A multi-dose vial made in a non-rigorous manufacturing setting may not continue to be sterile throughout of its usage e.g. a 30mg vial is created to be utilized for 30 dosages which may extend a period of 10 weeks.
  • Some websites use pre-filled syringes in which the product is already re-constituted with bacteriostatic water, nonetheless there is no guarantee that these pre-filled products will certainly remain stable and also sterilized during distribution or for the life expectancy of their usage.

Disposal of used sharps

There have been records of needles being disposed of in family rubbish.

Raised exposure to UV rays

As the impacts of the tanning agents are extra dramatic when made use of together with exposure to UV light (by all-natural sunlight or by tanning beds) use the agents may boost UV exposure with all the addition risks associated such as enhanced danger of skin cancer cells, skin ageing, etc

Harm reduction actions

  • Explain to individuals regarding the threats associated with injectable tanning products.
  • Highlight the dangers associated with enhanced UV exposure (the sick impacts of tanning still occur even in customers that have a deep tan). Customers can speak to the Irish Cancer cells Culture if they have worries pertaining to skin cancer on the cancer cells helpline 1800 200 700 or
  • Motivate customers to quit using, and to seek medical suggestions if needed.

If utilizing

Tidy injecting equipment:

  • Recommend that they make use of a clean needle each time and dispose of needles in a sharps container. The needles offered in the infusing pack offered in pharmacies participating in the Drug store Needle Exchange Program are developed like a diabetic needle and also appropriate for subcutaneous injection.
  • Recommend customers on the danger of blood birthed conditions and also use guidance on whom to call if the client is worried that they may have exposed themselves to a blood borne illness by sharing needles.
  • A listing of pharmacies joining your location is offered with the Drugs helpline 1800 459 459.

Safe disposal.

The pack likewise includes a tiny sharps container for used sharps. Drug stores will approve utilized sharps if returned in the sharps container.

Contamination and instability of item.

  • The quantity of product in the vial might vary considerably, might be infected with germs or various other chemicals.
  • Inspect the vial before usage and also do not utilize if tarnished or if fragments visible.
  • It needs to be saved in the fridge.
  • All medicines must be stayed out of the reach of youngsters which might be challenging in a refrigerator.


  • Suggest that side-effects are unknown, and the doses being made use of may not be risk-free.
  • Effects of the medication on an unborn kid are unidentified.
  • Effects when taken with various other medications are unidentified.


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. Products:

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