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Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
Many Australians are familiar with the Cancer Council’s slogans reminding us to “slip, slop, slap”, and that “there’s nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a questionable injectable tanning representative Melanotan is growing in popularity. However 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 a synthetic melanocortin, which is a hormone stemmed from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that regulates growth and development.
It assists to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that soaks up ultraviolet radiation and provides skin its colour. When provided by injection throughout as little as a week, Melanotan has the effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
First developed in the 1980s by researchers at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is mainly 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 help reduce the signs of these conditions and enable those diagnosed to live a more normal life.
Melanotan’s tanning capability and possible use as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to prevent damage triggered by sunshine) has actually likewise received much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a way of life drug.
The reasoning behind this pattern is that developing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun exposure could secure people from skin damage, and even potentially lower cancer malignancy danger. More melanin implies more protection from UV radiation, and therefore a healthier (and conveniently, much deeper) skin tone. In this sense, there is perhaps a kernel of fact to the idea of the “healthy radiance”.
Is it safe to use?
Clinical trials of the security and effectiveness of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Firm approved a blend of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for limited prescription-only usage by those with particular skin conditions throughout the European Union.
There are no published scientific trials of the drug among people without these disorders. This means its long-term effectiveness and security for use in the basic population is unidentified.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is unregulated. The drug is currently captured in Arrange 4 (prescription only medications) of the Restorative Item Administration’s Poisons Standard, no items containing Melanotan are registered for use in Australia.
This suggests while there are rumours of some professionals prescribing the drug, the majority of practitioners alert against– and will not recommend– Melanotan for aesthetic or lifestyle purposes.
There are presently no population-based studies on Melanotan to show the degree of its use, nevertheless, there are reports of its increased off-label usage in the UK.
Most of users source the drug via “underground” online suppliers at costs ranging from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections at home. Users report a series of temporary side effects consisting of facial flushing, queasiness, short-term freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day present a feasible solution to accomplishing a “healthy tan” in line with existing western appeal perfects. It also develops new kinds of threat worrying needle security, disturbing patient-practitioner relationships through uncontrolled usage, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have actually 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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