Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
Most Australians recognize with the Cancer Council’s mottos reminding us to “slip, slop, slap”, which “there’s nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a questionable injectable tanning representative Melanotan is growing in appeal. How safe is it, and can it protect us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Called “Mel”, “MT” or “the Barbie drug”, Melanotan is an artificial melanocortin, which is a hormone derived from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that manages development and development.
It helps to accelerate the production of melanin, the pigment that soaks up ultraviolet radiation and offers skin its colour. When delivered by injection over the course of as little as a week, Melanotan has the result of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
Established in the 1980s by scientists at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is primarily utilized for the treatment of skin disorders including vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that affect skin look and sensitivity (particularly to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can assist alleviate the signs of these conditions and enable those diagnosed to live a more normal life.
Melanotan’s tanning ability and potential use as a “natural” photoprotectant (that helps to avoid damage caused by sunshine) has actually also received much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a way of life drug.
The reasoning behind this pattern is that creating tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with very little to no sun direct exposure could safeguard individuals from skin damage, and even possibly lower melanoma danger. More melanin indicates more defense from UV radiation, and therefore a healthier (and conveniently, deeper) complexion. In this sense, there is possibly a kernel of reality to the idea of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to use?
Scientific trials of the safety and effectiveness of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Company approved a blend of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for restricted prescription-only usage by those with particular skin problem throughout the European Union.
However, there are no published medical trials of the drug amongst individuals without these disorders. This implies its long-term effectiveness and safety for usage in the general population is unidentified.
In Australia, Melanotan use is uncontrolled. Although the drug is currently caught in Schedule 4 (prescription just medications) of the Healing Item Administration’s Poisons Requirement, no items containing Melanotan are signed up for use in Australia.
This means while there are rumours of some practitioners recommending the drug, a lot of practitioners caution against– and will not recommend– Melanotan for visual or lifestyle purposes.
There are currently no population-based research studies on Melanotan to indicate the extent of its use, however, there are reports of its increased off-label usage in the UK.
Most of users source the drug via “underground” online vendors at expenses ranging from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections at home. Users report a range of brief side effects including facial flushing, queasiness, momentary freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day provide a practical solution to attaining a “healthy tan” in line with present western beauty suitables. It also produces new forms of risk worrying needle safety, unsettling 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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